Over the course of history, the way that we interact as humans has evolved significantly. More specifically, the way that we interact with our significant others has changed as well. One of the most prevalent ways in which this transformation has been made is related to the usage of online dating or social media websites. Recently, an Oklahoma State University football player met his current girlfriend though twitter and I claimed in a blog post that this was “Not Your Average Love Connection”. However, after examining several sources I found that this relationship is not as surprising as I initially thought. Within this paper I will examine not only the increase of online “love connections” but also the increase in the success rate of relationship like these.
Before examining the success rate of online relationships, it is important to observe the increase in popularity of online dating. According to a study conducted by Aaron Smith, senior researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project,
“One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating. General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years, and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships. These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era…”(Smith)
This study shows a significant increase from 2008, when only 3 percent of the U.S. population had used online dating. Journalist Ronald Vyhmeister attributes online dating’s popularity to the fact that people do not have the time to go out on dates and lack the patience that is required with traditional dating methods. Perhaps more surprisingly is the fact that the audience for online dating has increased as well. People tend to generally associate online dating with teenagers, however has become popular among user who may be in their 40s, 50s or even 60s. Regardless of the reason why people are experimenting with online dating, it seems as if this social revolution is not going to reach an end soon. The current statistics show that everyday more and more people are turning to online dating or social networks to find friendship, dating and even marriage.
Even though the popularity of online dating through social media and dating sites has gained in popularity, I was very skeptical in the success rate of such sites. A study done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS, negated my skepticism. According to this study,
“This study examines the marital status and satisfaction of 19,131 people who tied the knot between 2005 and 2012. Of the nearly 20,000 respondents, 35 percent met their spouses online. Within that group, nearly half met through online dating sites, “whose number of users has increased dramatically just over the past decade,” according to the research. Others reported meeting their spouses through social media, chat rooms, and e-mail, among other online venues. And while the research found that nearly 8 percent of marriages initiated offline ended in breakups, couples who met online reported lower rates of separation and divorce at only 6 percent.”(Choi)
After reading and examining this study I was able to conclude that online dating is not only becoming more popular, but also it is becoming more successful. Even though I had thought the relationship that I highlighted on blog earlier this semester was “one in a million”, in actuality statistics and studies show that successful online “love connections” are made every single day.
Overall, the increase of Internet usage has revolutionized how we work, play, search, shop, study and communicate. This increase of Internet usage, has also lead to a change in the way that people meet significant others. Initially, I surprised when first examining a story that discussed a successful relationship that was started through Twitter. However, after examining several studies and statistics it has become apparent to me that online dating has become a part of our culture and is not only becoming more popular, but more successful as well. This can be largely attributed to the increase of Internet usage and the lack of time for people to participate in traditional dating practices. For me, it is a revolutionary concept to think that meeting the love of your life could literally be one click away.