Even more significant has been the introduction and proliferation of cellphones with 3G service.
Schroeder estimates that 20 million Iranians now have access to 3G data on their phones.
The hottest digital method for dating in Iran is currently the Telegram application.
The majority of Iranians -- almost all of those who own smartphones and/or tablets -- download and use Telegram on a regular basis.
This includes populations living in Iraq, the Persian Gulf region, the Caucasus region, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northern India.
The formal name of the Iranian state is Jomhuri-ye Islami-ye Iran , the Islamic Republic of Iran. The terms "Iran" as the designation for the civilization, and "Iranian" as the name for the inhabitants occupying the large plateau located between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf have been in continual use for more than twenty-five hundred years.By then, however, most such sites were marketing themselves as “marriage websites” to avoid getting shut down.Of course, the surest way to attract a following in the Islamic Republic is to label something immoral or against religious laws.Among them is a Telegram channel for Tehran’s gay and lesbian singles.In the end, the government may choose to launch a marital website of its own on Telegram or whatever the next popular app turns out to be on the theory that if you can't beat them, join them.Much like the “chain” reformist newspapers during Mohammad Khatami’s presidency in the late 1990s and early 2000s -- when one paper would be forced to shut down, another one would spring to life with a different name but the same agenda and editorial staff – a dating site may be blocked but a similar one will soon appear.The situation has gotten so dire, from the government’s point of view, that it issued a statement two years ago announcing that dating websites were illegal.Almost instantaneously, people find ways to overcome the obstacles to access these forbidden sites.Defeating the tech-savvy crowd has proved to be difficult for the government, which has resorted to entreaties to young Iranians to appreciate the forgotten value of marriage and to threaten punishment to those who go on line in search of temporary hook ups.There are several Telegram groups, which have labeled themselves as facilitating introductions for marriage and ask for payment, starting at a month, to enter the chat room with a designated, supposedly compatible spouse-to-be, defined by questionnaires and prior vetting.Many of these channels are not really for marriage and are hanging by a thread for fear of being uncovered by the authorities.