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Out of curiosity, he said, he signed up with an online personals service and posted his photograph -- an artsy profile shot in which he resembled a brooding Johnny Depp -- and described himself as ''passionate and sexy (and in great shape),'' someone who was ''working on not being an intimidating know-it-all.'' Mr. In just a day, he got e-mail responses from a dozen women.'' It was a great ego boost,'' he said.
Tjong, a 26-year-old associate at a major New York law firm, was coming off a breakup and wanted to play the field.
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'' We order sushi and sit there ranking guys.'' Michael Farah, a 24-year-old freelance writer from Brooklyn, said he posted his ad on Nerve while discussing the single life with some friends.'' We all just decided to sign up right there and then,'' he said.
'' We weren't desperate for social connections.
'' Sometimes more than one date a night.'' In just a few short months, Mr.
Jong said he went out with around 70 women -- usually an after-work drink with the option of an easy escape if things didn't work out.
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For younger people, using online personals is ''not a somber, mildly terrifying business of pairing off before you die,'' said Rufus Griscom, the founder of It's entertainment.'' As with the day-trading boom a few years back, the Net seems to have created a volatility in the romantic marketplace, especially in cities like New York where there is a coffee shop on every corner; the speed of online communications often translates into a quick invitation to meet face-to-face.