Love in the digital age

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Before the age of the internet, people met in person maybe out at a bar or they were set up on a blind date. Today, there's an overload of options such as dating apps and websites, opening up more ways to meet people.

You may remember the movie "You've Got Mail." It seems like the first one in modern times that predicted how people would soon meet their significant others: through the internet. While technology has opened many doors, it's also changed relationships as we know.

"I think the idea of a relationship is not the same as we saw 30-40 years ago. So, more people are hanging out, they have a friend they have romantic feelings with but not labeling it. It's a new generation and new way of courting," Black Hills State University Professor Annelise Ewing Goodman said.

E-Harmony found 40% of Americans use online dating, while 20% of those in current, committed relationships started online. In 2015, 7% of marriages were between couples that met on a dating website.

The question that many people have is this good or bad?

On one hand, "It can help and hinder the types of communication we have," said Goodman. "Communication face to face is the easiest way to get to know someone. It's give and take and opened a lot of new doors."

On the other hand, "You get that initial 'oh do I like this person's photo, no I won't give them the time of day,' so a lot gets thrown at you at once and it can make it hard to pick and choose."

But, don't worry, not all hope is lost.

"I don't think that it completely gets rid of people meeting face-to-face. I imagine in the future we will be able to see if these apps are successful if they continue or if we return to more of that face-to-face communication."

It doesn't matter how you meet your significant other, you can still have a meaningful relationship.

Last year, popular dating app Tinder recorded a 20% surge in usage on Valentine's Day and expect the same thing again this year.