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put a zing on it

From The Pony Express to Instagram: Long-Distance Love Through the Ages

Since Instagram launched, people have been surprised to find that it's more than just a social media/ photo-sharing app--it's also another way to find true love! Dozens of couples have met and gotten engaged after clicking on a hashtag that introduced them to their fate.


Now that we're glued to our phones all of the time, how did we ever manage to find long-distance love without the Internet?

Here are 7 ways lovers stayed connected in ye olden days:

1. Carrier Pigeon:


Before there was Twitter, people used actual birds to deliver messages. Crazy, right? Can you imagine the thrill of attaching a love note to the talon of a pigeon and hoping a feudal peasant didn't knock it from the sky with an arrow so he could feed his family for the next week?

2. The Pony Express:


If you fell in love with a pioneer but he moved West because of, you know, Manifest Destiny, the only way to reach him was through the Pony Express. You'd write a letter, sneak it past your overbearing parents, give it to a pony messenger, and pray that he wasn't set upon by bandits during his cross-country travels. You'd be on pins and needles for weeks, maybe even months, just waiting for a reply!

3. The Telegram:


This was the OG text message. Telegram operators even used shorthand like "u," "ok," and ":D" ... we're assuming. Every letter cost money, so you had to be sure to count your words wisely. If you remember the '90s, you know what it's like to pay per text! Messaging services have been boning us on prices for years.

4. The Telephone:


Let's be honest: we're all wondering who made the first phone sex prank call, and what it sounded like. "Operator, connect me to ... your genitals!" People probably had actual romantic conversations, too.

5. AOL:


Jump forward many decades. It's 1994, and you've just gotten your AOL CD Rom to install on your PC! All you have to do is wait for your Internet to dial up. Two hours later, after a lot of screeching dial up noise, you're finally online! "You've Got Mail!" You click on over to a Chat Room – this one is Seinfeld trivia themed! – and type in three very important letters: A/S/L. Age. Sex. Location. Age? Old enough. Sex? YES PLEASE. Location? Wherever you want me, stuuuud. You and your monitor got pretty steamy back then.

6. Myspace:


It was like LiveJournal, but people could actually see your FACE! This made it much easier to seek out potential partners for romance – not that Myspace was shallow or anything. Really, it was an equal playing field considering every single photo looked the same. Downward angle, bangs swept over the forehead – it was like finding love in an Aldous Huxley-inspired totalitarian regime! Sigh. True romance. (Not to mention... that Tom guy was pretty hot.)

7. Facebook:


Ah, the invention of the relationship status. There's no greater humiliation than when the guy you've kind of been seeing refuses to change his status for you. Couldn't he at least have compromised and clicked "It's Complicated?" Facebook also allowed us to virtually stalk our crushes. Did he recently like Alanis Morisette?

That brings us up to speed! Now if you'll excuse us, we have some people to stalk on Instagram...

Photo Attributions:


Homes for Heroes


Engage Spark




Tech Xplore


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