It’s easy to take for granted what the invention of the telephone has brought to courtship and human relationships. Getting a phone number from a member of the opposite sex is such a crucial first step in the dating process; how did we ever date without them?

And how will the Internet change this? Obviously the exchange of email addresses is taking on a status similar to that of the phone number exchange, but I truly believe that the Internet will affect the very way we meet people. Why go to a bar and hope to find someone interesting enough to ask for a phone number? Why not flip through profiles and web pages of people so that you can move quickly past their physical exteriors to get some idea of who they really are? Sure there’s the likelihood of subterfuge, but it will always be smaller than that of its outdoor counterpart. Assuming of course that you’re looking for a personality to match yours, and not just an attractive body.

Consider this. Jamie B started a profile at Nerve.com for her sister Amy (the twins mentioned in the June 16 entry), whom I then met and with whom I became good friends. I later got onto Orkut.com (wherein I met my other Jamie) and pulled in Jamie B, wherein she met her now-fiancee Charles. I’ve also made a few new friends via myspace.com. So it’s already happening. And it’s not just for hopeless nerds who never leave the house. Not anymore.