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Cupid's Cursor Part 1

Technology has changed the way we live, play and even love. For some, true love could be just a click away.

Once upon a time boy met girl, passed her a note and she said yes or no.

But now texting, poking, tweeting and ematching have added a virtual field to the dating game.

"When you text her, it's a lot easier because if you get rejected, it's just in a message,” said Ron Krudo. “It's not like you're sitting there trying to call her."

"Guys rarely come up to women anymore,” said Jazmine Toomer. “It's kind of like ‘I'll just message her, add her as a friend on facebook’."

"Nowadays it seems a lot harder to meet someone in person because everybody is really focused on doing what they want to do so they're not really looking and it seems more convenient to use technology like internet and texting,” said Jessica Piatt.

To meet someone a generation ago, we were confined to our location – school, work, church or random chance – but now true love could be around the corner or in another country.

"We really connected right away."

Jonathan and Rennai Kelly have been in marital bliss for the past five months. Their picture-perfect romance seems to come out of a fairytale, but in this case the fairy godmother was a dating site with a cursor instead of a wand.

"I sent her a message not thinking she was going to respond and she did,” said Jonathan.

"I think we talked that Sunday night and went on a date that Tuesday," Rennai said.

Even though Jonathan went to FAMU and Rennai is a Seminole it took a website for them to find each other, even though like many they had their reservations.

"I thought it was only for people who were lame, desperate or didn't have anything better to do with their time," she said.

"I know I used to talk around the subject and say we had a lot of friends in common on Facebook, which is true, but that's not how we met," he said.

"After about three months, I was like what the heck I like him, no need to hide it.”

But whether people admit it or not, millions are subscribing to the idea. Match.com says one-in-five relationships starts online. eHarmony touts its matchmaking powers are to thank for five percent of new marriages in the U.S. with more than 20 million people using the site.

Then there are venues with fewer members but cater to different interests. Like afroromance.com for people looking for the interracial dating scene, seniorpeoplemeet.com for the more mature audience, or datepetlovers.com for those who want their significant other to love Fido as much as them.

And let's not forget about Facebook and Myspace where members might not be logging on for a date but they're quickly given access to millions of potential suitors.

But when little girls read tales of princes, they imagine him finding their shoe not sending a poke through cyber space. So how do today's singles feel about their storybook romances coming from these pages?

"I hate it, I hate it, I hate it,” said Toomer. “I would rather a guy come to me and talk to me. I don't want you Facebook messaging me. It's pretty lame to me."

"I met him on Facebook," said Piatt.
"How did that end up working out for you?"
“It didn't."

"It tends to make things easier initially because you don't have the awkwardness of the face-to-face conversation,” said Shanton.

“Any way is good to me as long as I find the right one."

So whether it's a text, dating service or random add, technology is bringing people together even if they start off like the Kellys did… not admitting it.

It's happily ever after for many of these dating sites too. A report by Jupiter Research says revenue from the sites in the U.S. is projected to hit just under $2 billion by 2012.


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