Pictured above: "The good ol' days"
YOU have always used the internet to meet people. You just didn't think of it like that. There is someone on your facebook friend's list who you've never seen in person. Isn't there? You justified that kind of an online friendship, because the person is 'a friend of a friend', and 'maybe [you'll] run into them'.
The stigma rears it's ugly head only when someone like me uses the internet proactively instead of passively, as an actual social networking tool. Before you know it, I'm meeting perfect strangers, in real life. No similar friends, no spark, no synchronicity, no fate. Just cold calling. What would drive a person to do such a thing? Plain logic-
Is it possible that there is someone who you could be friends with, or have a romantic interest in, who you're never going to run into socially? If you answered 'of course' then congratulations, you don't believe in magic. Is it possible you can find them using the internet? Of course.
I've met 6 people in person after using some combination of youtube, craigslist, facebook(back when it used to work like a social networking tool instead of a sharing bad-ass link with your homeboys tool), and okcupid. It's worked out to varying degrees; I've alienated 2 people, 2 people just weren't very interested in me, and I could call up either of the other 2 tomorrow and hang out with them. That's about my real life statistical average, too, and there's a reason for that-
It's not 1992 anymore. The internet is part of real life. You're reading this here, instead of in a magazine, or a letter I sent you. Why then, shouldn't you meet people you find on the internet, like you meet people you find at a party? I, for one, am delighted that social life, including romantic interest, has an additional dimension. Remember...
We are in the future!