1993: The world is a cold, heartless place, where, according to the letters, you actually meet and are rejected by chaps in person.
1994: A thing appears on your new office computer that says: “Meet me for coffee.” That thing is an e-mail, and the poetry of its four words—the magic of them!—opens your life forever to the wonder of words on a screen.
1995: Match.com goes live, and you bravely create a profile saying you are looking for a nice guy “with a sense of humor” and receive 1,270 responses. In the first hour.
1996: Best to gloss over the time you visited that chat room.
1997: Wi-Fi is invented, making it possible for you to meet your future second husband at Starbucks in 2009.
1998: You learn the hard way that the more you google a fella you “might be interested in,” the creepier you feel, and the creepier you feel, the pickier you grow, until finally, with the exception of JFK Jr., there’s not a man remaining in America you’d consider going out with.
2001: Auntie Eeee and her sister, Cande, solve the online-dating “cad, wanker, and brainless nincompoop” issue by launching GreatBoyfriends.com, where women recommend their ex-boyfriends to one another. Oprah says it’s the best idea she’s ever heard.
2003: You are courted on MySpace by the lead singer of a band. It is tender. It is sweet. When you fly to see him perform at a Fort Wayne, Indiana, softball field, you discover he’s 15.
2004: Mark Zuckerberg est arrivé. You really gotta love the little bastard.
2005: You excitedly upload to YouTube a video of you salsa dancing with a semifamous reality-show contestant, but since it’s an interminable four minutes long, nobody watches it.
2006: As Twitter debuts, eventually dooming dictators around the world, you stage a coup d’état of someone’s heart with these three simple steps: (1) You follow the attractive person on Twitter; (2) you retweet two or three of the attractive person’s tweets; and (3) you reply to one of his/her tweets with a lusty zinger. (How not to flirt: See Wikipedia, Anthony Weiner.)
2007: You squeal in the grip of the greatest ecstasy woman has ever known when you turn on your first iPhone.
2010: You discover that a tryst with your boyfriend is twice as hot when you’re Skyping with him while on a business trip as when he’s in your actual bed.
2013: Words are dead. You’re now back in the Lascaux Cave, communicating with images via Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat—and your love life is totally happening on Tinder.
Ask E. Jean. http://www.elle.com/life-love/ask-e-jean/e-jean-20-years-dating