Love on a laptop? 网上寻真爱

英語學習點:戀愛詞匯 Vocabulary: dating

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"So, where did you guys meet?" New couples often face this question from eager friends who are keen to hear about the beginnings of their love story.

Increasingly, the answer is "on the internet". Online dating is a booming industry, worth an estimated £2.5 billion (25 billion yuan) across the world. So what is it that is making so many of us turn to our computers to find love? In the past, love may have blossomed in the workplace or in the pub and some brave individuals may even have agreed to be set up on a blind date. But nowadays, busy lifestyles and the popularity of online social networking have changed our attitudes towards romance. Internet dating websites have become popular as a way of searching for the perfect mate. People who use the sites can search profiles of hundreds of single people, and with just a few clicks can see instantly whether someone is attractive or not.

But are we becoming too dismissive of potential dates? Site users can make snap judgements based on people's profile pictures and don't consider whether they may actually have real things in common. For this reason, some sites place more importance on personality tests rather than pictures to match users who may be compatible. On one British site, single people complete a test of 250 questions before the site uses complex algorithms to select suitable partners. Of course, for some people, regardless of the technology, the whole process is distasteful - like 'shopping' for a partner. But as the growth in the sector shows, there are plenty of singletons who don't have time for such romantic ideas, and are more than happy to pay Cupid for a strike.