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Singles meet up through their mobile phones

October 31, 2008 |  8:33 am

Heart phone Phones can do a lot of things: wake you up in the morning, remind you of that meeting you forgot, add and subtract the numbers you can't. Now, they can also find you a new girlfriend or boyfriend.

As we describe in more detail in this story in today's L.A. Times, singles are increasingly using their phones to meet new people. Some start texting with strangers and hit it off. Some send each other dirty jokes through texts. Others look at the maps on their phones and, though different applications, find nearby people looking to connect. The story says:

First there was phone dating, in which singles would read personal ads and leave each other voice messages. Next came Internet dating, online matchmaking services made more popular by increased access to broadband. Now, with phones accompanying them everywhere, people are turning to mobile dating services.

"With a cellphone, you can do it any time, any place," said Bob Bentz, director of marketing and sales at Advanced Telecom Services, a Wayne, Pa., company that offers a 350,000-member dating service called MatchLink Mobile. "If you're waiting for the bus, you can be finding a date."

Don't worry, married people. The applications are spreading beyond the dating world. If you're one of the 143 million people with GPS on your cellphone, you can sign up for a program that lets you locate nearby people who share your interests as a couple, whether that be visiting Bed Bath & Beyond, going for walks or hosting board-game nights.

Admittedly, you'll need to choose carefully when you sent a text to woo a potential friend or mate: you'll only have 160 characters. But lucky for you, there are also websites to help you out by providing you all the cheesy romantic text messages you'll need. For dirty text jokes, though, you'll have to go somewhere else.

-- Alana Semuels

Photo by paraquenoseolvide via Flickr

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