Me, My Spouse and the Internet report released
Today, February 14th, 2011. We’re pleased to announce the release of a new report from the Oxford Internet Institute.
Drawing on the Pan-European data collection from early spring 2010 and subsequent data collection in Brazil and Japan in the summer, we present “A Global Shift in the Social Relationships of Networked Individuals: Meeting and Dating Online Comes of Age” [pdf link].
This paper reports on an analysis of original data from a cross-national survey in 18 countries of couples and their social relationships. The survey focused on cohabiting couples, who have the Internet at home. Each member of each couple was asked how they met their partners, what dating strategies they used before they met, how they maintain their current relationships and social networks, and how these individuals use the Internet in everyday life and work. The survey was conducted online, using a professional pool of respondents to draw our samples. There is wide variety across the world and within nations, such as in approaches to online relationships, to friendships, and to the Internet.
Several general patterns are clear:
Success through online dating is rising steadily. The share of couples who began their relationship online was small until about 1997. Starting then, the popularity of online dating began to rise steadily to the present day. Over a quarter of cohabiting relationships that started in the last five years met through online dating.
The diffusion of online dating appears to vary between countries, but in all cases, exposure and experience predict to overall positive regard for online dating.
Dating online is definitely a complementary practice to other practices or places for meeting people. This even holds for personals. In fact, given that personals appear more common in the last decade, one might conclude that it is not merely online dating that has been diffusing, but dating as a practice.
Virtually half of people who meet online do not do it through online dating sites. This number varies significantly and substantially between countries. In some countries, such as Brazil, it is more common to meet through social network sites.
Happy Valentines Day.
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