Dating in 1960

Their answers were transferred to punch cards, processed on a five-ton mainframe computer in Massachusetts, and then the students were sent a list of names and phone numbers of potential matches.

The program came to UNC in time for the fall 1965 semester.

Thanks to the Internet, we live in a golden age of romance–especially if you’re of the kinky persuasion. He’s willing to travel to every state in the Gulf Coast region. There’s something endearing about this man’s willingness to answer every letter he gets.

Any time of profound social change calls for a good date."Inevitably, the singles game is putting technology to use," magazine declared back in 1967, "and the computer-dating service is growing as steadily as the price of a share of IBM." The article describes "punchcard-plotted introductions" that cost $5 to $150. Harvard students founded a landmark computer-dating service around the same time, and as the reported in 1965, "Their banner reads 'SEX,' their creed is written on the circuits of a computer, and their initial organized uprising is called Operation Match." A black-and-white video celebrates the "computer marriages" emerging from Operation Match by 1968.

It emphasizes the perils that, even now, many ascribe to romance via machine: Couples who meet by computer tend to be embarrassed and even hostile. It cost $3 to sign up, and more than a million romantic souls had responded during the service's first years.magazine: "How To Be Comfortable With Computer Dating." The ad, promoting a dating service called Compatibility, strains to build credibility for the company, emphasizing its size, ethics, and the power of the service's computers ("The IBM 360/40 Computers that are used for us, we are told, will do more in an hour than a highly qualified individual can do in a year"). Computer dating also experienced transatlantic popularity -- this 1972 British ad encourages you to join "Britain's most sophisticated and successful computer dating service" to "meet your kind of people." Naturally, these services wanted to give an impression of exclusivity, some pretense that they "try to weed out the obvious social misfits" as the These dating services evolved quickly in subsequent decades.

A Daily Tar Heel editorial asked, “Are you willing to let a big machine with flashing lights and flying cards tell you how to run your personal social life? The program ran an interesting promotion on campus in October 1965.

Patsy Puckett, who was then Miss Mississippi, filled out an Operation Match questionnaire and then went on a date with Carolina student she was matched with.

Also enduring throughout the years are problems of misrepresentation: of age, weight, attractiveness, and height, as with the man who claimed to be 6' tall and "mysteriously shrunk to about 5 feet 6 inches in person." These issues have unlikely been resolved even on today's Internet.

In our modern age of Tinder, Ok Cupid and Match.com, we’re used to the idea that algorithms can help us find love.

Sites like Ok Cupid perform a similar service now, only with more pictures, interactivity, and complexity.

But in the 1960s, what was known as "computer dating" involved no Internet and often few to no visuals.

Psychedelia and New Journalism, civil rights and the Velvet Underground, JFK and the sexual revolution. Decades before Match.com, Ok Cupid, and Craigslist there existed a different sort of online interaction.

The last gift spawned something else entirely -- the 1960s introduced us to computer dating. The 1960s sport carried many of the same hazards and thrills as virtual matchmaking today.

According to the , several hundred students used the service in its first month.

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