When to use preterite (fue) vs. imperfect (era)?

On Spanishdict they give the example:

Cuando yo era joven, fui cortejada por un investigador.

So in general it seems like imperfect is for temporarily vague periods of time while preterite is for specific periods of time (like in other languages). Perhaps this is a lack of understanding on my part, but I feel like preterite is used far more often than imperfect.

In daily speach, is the imperfect used or is it often replaced by the preterite form?

Thanks for any advice!

submitted by /u/Topf
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