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Has he Photoshopped himself into that picture to make it look like he has friends? Clearly a double-edged sword – we have heard stories of men using internet dating as a sort of one-night-stand-ordering service, leaving women feeling used in their wake, and conversely of women who get repeatedly taken out for expensive first-date meals and then never taking it further, leaving out-of-pocket men in their wake.

But used with care, the internet has opened up a new way of meeting people to those who might not have the time or the opportunity elsewhere.

Even further back, around the time that Marco Polo first introduced Chinese takeaways to a grateful Europe, the telephone was not even mobile.

Yes, you had phone a building, of all things, and hope that the person you were trying to reach happened to be there.

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We have, for example, ignored pagers, even though many nascent relationships were probably scuppered by them around 1994 when some poor deluded fool showed his off in the restaurant in the belief that it made him look important. Mercifully, the advent of the Short Message Service allowed inarticulate youths everywhere to express their interest in an indecipherable mix of abbreviated verbs and smiley faces made out of brackets and semicolons.

Younger readers may be alarmed to hear that, not that long ago, if you met someone you liked in a bar, you would actually have to ring them the next day. For those of us who still like to use whole sentences, there is also a certain haiku-like appeal in attempting to be charming in 160 characters.

And we're not just saying that to plug the Telegraph's own Kindred Spirits service, honestly.

Why not create your own free online dating profile now with Kindred Spirits.

Now, even total strangers may be open books, especially if they're in a reasonably high-profile job.

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