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2015: Marian, an unmarried 25-year-old resident of Chicago, felt lonely one evening.

Men and women, gay and straight, young and old -- they are all searching for someone, and they're nearly always conducting that search in the digital universe.In the examples above, the 2015 version of Marian benefited greatly from digital technology and its ongoing elimination of the barriers to romance and sexuality that once existed.For her, the Internet transformed the backyard dating pond of yesteryear into an ocean of digital opportunity.Twenty minutes later he arrived at her doorstep, happy to share her popcorn, a movie, and a little bit more.No hours of preparation, no expensive cab ride or overpriced drinks, no parade of losers, and no disappointment at the end of the night.Online dating, for all its faults and critiques, has become one of the most popular ways Americans find love.

One awesome side effect of this is that we now have access to a realm of data that has never been available before — how people talk, interact, and communicate prior to entering a relationship.

Soon thereafter, literally hundreds competitors hit the Net, and by 2005 sites like Match and e Harmony were BIG business. Nowadays the dating websites that dominated the mid-2000s are antiquated small potatoes.

In fact, the online romance and sex scenes didn't fully take flight until 2009 with the advent of dating and hookup apps.

The trend toward online romance began in the early 1990s with AOL chatrooms and "bulletin boards" like Craigslist.

Digital dating got "official" in 1995 when launched the first-ever online dating service.

And one thing that should be worrisome for straight men is the size of their disadvantage in the market.