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Services such as America Online, Prodigy and eventually Craigslist offered chat rooms, forums and online classifieds of use to singles.By the time Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan AOL'd each other in You've Got Mail, it had become clear that the Internet was going to change every aspect of our lives forever -- including love and romance.
For , users could answer questionnaires and receive a list of potential matches, a process that is still used by many dating sites.
Early 1900s: The Lonely Rural Farmers, Ranchers and Shepherds Around the turn of the last century, personal ads enjoyed a renaissance of popularity, especially in the Western US with low populations and the harsh realities of rural life without a partner.
(Farmers Only continues the legacy to find "where all the country girls are" today.) Some very pragmatic examples of early 20th century personals: HOUSEKEEPER: 18 to 30 years of age, wanted by widower, 40.
1695: The First Personal Ads According to history professor H. Cocks (seriously --The Best Name Ever for an academic) personal ads began as a way to help British bachelors find eligible wives.
One of the earliest personals ever placed was by a 30-year-old man, with "a very good estate', announcing he was in search of 'some good young gentlewoman that has a fortune of £3,000 or thereabouts." (£3,000 is equivalent to roughly £300,000 today.
1960s: Counterculture and Computer Love Removed from the context of wartime, old stigmas crept back in.