Pew has just published a pretty expansive study on “dating digitally,” where they look at shifting views on online dating and looking for love on the internet. The main takeaways are that people are more increasingly turning to online dating sites to help them find a partner, but that it’s still not a totally accepted form of matchmaking.
Oh, and more people are using Google and Facebook to keep tabs on their exes – but you probably already knew that. Stalker.
According to Pew’s research, 11% of Americans have personally used an online dating site. While that only represents just over a tenth of the population, it also represents a huge increase from 2008, when only 3% of Americans said they had used such a site.
And among these online daters, actual dates and even long-term relationships are becoming the norm. 66% said that they have gone on a real-life date with someone they met online, and 23% said that online dating has led to a serious relationship or marriage. As you may expect, online dating is most common among the younger demographic.
It’s not just instances of online dating use that are on the rise, but the public’s general opinion on the practice is also trending progressive. Pew reports that 59% of those surveyed agree with the statement “online dating is a good way to meet people,” up 15% from 2005. Only 21% of those surveyed still held the view that using an online dating service was a sign of desperation.
Pew’s study also revealed that dating isn’t the only relationship-oriented activity that people are increasingly using the internet for. The internet also comes in handy when the relationship goes south.
Almost a quarter of Americans now Google their exes (still much less than how many Google themselves), and nearly one-third check up on them via Facebook, Twitter or some other social network. When you focus on those aged 18 to 29, those numbers increase dramatically:
“Additionally, 29% of internet users with recent dating experience have gone online to search for information about someone they were currently dating or about to meet for a first date. That is more than double the 13% of such internet users who did so when we last asked about this behavior in 2005.”
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