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Research on online dating sites

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This survey finds that the public is somewhat ambivalent about the overall impact of online dating. adults conducted online Oct. The following are among the major findings. Experience with online dating varies substantially by age. Beyond age, there also are striking differences by sexual orientation. There are only modest differences between men and women in their use of dating sites or apps, while white, black or Hispanic adults all are equally likely to say they have ever used these platforms.

At the same time, a small share of U. adults report that they found a significant other through online dating platforms. This too follows a pattern similar to that seen in overall use, with adults under the age of 50, those who are LGB or who have higher levels of educational attainment more likely to report finding a spouse or committed partner through these platforms.

Online dating users are more likely to describe their overall experience with using dating sites or apps in positive, rather than negative, terms. For the most part, different demographic groups tend to view their online dating experiences similarly.

But there are some notable exceptions. While majorities across various demographic groups are more likely to describe their searches as easy, rather than difficult, there are some differences by gender. There are substantial gender differences in the amount of attention online daters say they received on dating sites or apps.

The survey also asked online daters about their experiences with getting messages from people they were interested in. And while gender differences remain, they are far less pronounced. Online daters widely believe that dishonesty is a pervasive issue on these platforms. By contrast, online daters are less likely to think harassment or bullying, and privacy violations, such as data breaches or identify theft, are very common occurrences on these platforms.

Some experts contend that the open nature of online dating — that is, the fact that many users are strangers to one another — has created a less civil dating environment and therefore makes it difficult to hold people accountable for their behavior.

This survey finds that a notable share of online daters have been subjected to some form of harassment measured in this survey. Fewer online daters say someone via a dating site or app has threatened to physically harm them.

Younger women are particularly likely to encounter each of these behaviors. The likelihood of encountering these kinds of behaviors on dating platforms also varies by sexual orientation. LGB users are also more likely than straight users to say someone on a dating site or app continued to contact them after they told them they were not interested, called them an offensive name or threatened to physically harm them.

The creators of online dating sites and apps have at times struggled with the perception that these sites could facilitate troubling — or even dangerous — encounters. And although there is some evidence that much of the stigma surrounding these sites has diminished over time, close to half of Americans still find the prospect of meeting someone through a dating site unsafe. Face to Face hereafter referred to as FtF interaction is the traditional face to face interaction that exists among humans where visual cues are present.

A critical premise of our discussion is that people who use online dating sites via CMC are using it in the hope that it will lead to eventual FtF communication. Another important term will be self-monitor. The concept of being a self-monitor will be integral in our discussion of online dating because the information we choose to display online is usually highly selective and for the purpose of attracting a mate for a FtF interaction.

Finally, URT will refer to the classic theory by Berger that theorized that humans use specific strategies and cues before divulging more personal information p. URT will be discussed more thoroughly later in the paper.

In our discussion, it is important to review relevant literature regarding technology, use of social media and relationships , communication and online dating in general. Firstly, we will discuss the original theories regarding FtF communication as outlined in URT.

Berger and Calabrese , Dawkins, and Gibbs et al, will give relevant background information and details. Moreover, Twente N. will outline the specific strategies and factors that influence human behavior regarding reducing uncertainty. Gudykunst will also discuss how URT applies within the contexts of different ethnicities and sex.

This will allow us to get comprehensive background information. Next, it is important to have a basic understanding of how CMC developed and the early schools of thought that analyzed this interaction Parks, While highly pessimistic, Parks offered evidence that online relationships can not only be successful, but can develop into eventual FtF interaction.

Sheldon will show that interaction on Facebook offers a wealth of information regarding how we deal with uncertainty within a network where we tend to know most of the individuals in person, or have at least met them on one occasion. Also, Sheldon will demonstrate that individuals in SNS use specific cues and elements of interaction alongside strategies of URT to predict their behavior. Finally, we will investigate how online dating sites like eHarmony integrate scientific principles of communication and how well they apply to URT.

A general view of the process of meeting individuals and how communication is facilitated will be offered by the eHarmony website eHarmony, N. This will allow us to analyze exactly how applicable URT is to CMC settings and how well the dating service tailors to the different context of communication.

Furthermore, we will look at case studies specific to online dating sites like Match. com and eHarmony. Gibbs will provide an in-depth study of Match. com members to show that in an online setting, members tend to practice similar uncertainty reduction strategies in anticipation of a FtF meeting.

Specifically, what strategies are mostly utilized and what cues are critical to the overall interaction. In meeting new people FtF, we tend to engage in behaviors that reduce our uncertainty about the other person.

This original URT was supplemented by Berger by including that humans tend to reduce uncertainty by utilizing one or all of the three strategies: passive, active and interactive Dawkins, , p. Of the strategies listed, observing others where the person is likely to act natural is passive while being in direct contact with them is active Twente, N.

An interactive strategy, however, includes communicating with the person directly in an effort to find out more about the person. The interactive strategy of engaging in information seeking behavior is by far the most important aspect of reducing uncertainty.

This means that as we meet new people, we want to find out more about them to reduce our uncertainty about them. However, studies suggest that we are also hesitant to divulge personal information about ourselves so easily. This means that as we are looking for information about others, we tend to only divulge information at the same rate as other people do in FtF communication.

This would make sense as we tend to fear judgment by other people that we do not know as well. There also exist some demographic differences in URT. According to William Gudykunst and Mitchell Hammer in The Influence of Ethnicity, Gender, and Dyadic Composition on Uncertainty Reduction In Initial Interactions, there were differences among blacks and whites in their communicative behavior. Moreover, their results did not suggest that gender played a role in using uncertainty reduction strategies Gudykunst, , p.

This means that men and women tend to act similarly in reducing uncertainty in social situations. Essentially, the URT strategy of information seeking was higher in those that were more self-conscious of their behavior. Other than that, ethnicity and gender did not affect URT in the FtF context that the study was researched within. Next, it is important to understand the early schools of thought and development of online communication.

His literature review argued that this was true because people within CMC settings exert more verbal aggression, blunt disclosure and negative behavior in comparison to groups in FtF settings Parks, , p. Despite the negative feedback from other scholars, Parks found evidence that online relationships can develop and people can adapt their behavior to account for the missing aspects of interaction, like physical proximity and frequency.

For instance, even in early as , Parks argued that online settings can foster the growth of meaningful relationships, despite the shortcomings of missing cues in FtF communication. Even more surprising is the notion that the relationships that developed online tended to expand to FtF communication over time:.

Although nearly all respondents used direct E-mail About a third had used the telephone The average number of channels used was 2. These findings imply that relationships that begin on line rarely stay there Parks, , p.

This research implies that even as early in , the internet and CMC did foster the development of new relationships that eventually extended out of the scope of online interaction. This had a lot to do with how users managed uncertainty with the tools they had.

Since visual and aural cues were not always present, the use of smileys and other improvised cues were used to develop rapport with other individuals Parks, , p.

Essentially, the way that people communicated online in involved an adaptation of visual cues to textual ones. By , the growth of online dating sites resulted in services that were tailored specifically to meet the needs to people looking to find relationships online.

These services were designed to facilitate, foster and encourage the growth of successful relations that extended outside of CMC. Her study of college students suggested that URT did apply cohesively in this CMC setting: users who interacted a lot tended to experience less uncertainty Sheldon, , p. Indeed, from to , not much has changed in terms of what is possible within the realm of CMC. While users can share photos, videos and other forms of multimedia, the factors of proximity and physical cues are still not there.

Essentially, CMC settings are successful in fostering relationships because visual cues are not requirements of interaction and when they are necessary, textual cues were seen to be comparable alternatives. Facebook relationships thrive on the level of intimacy within self-disclosure. This means that the more we disclose to others in terms of quality, not so much quality, the more meaningful the relationship becomes.

This supports URT because as we disclose more and trust others, we develop stronger relationships. As we develop stronger online relationships, we reduce the overall uncertainty about the other person.

Thus, interactions on Facebook appear more like FtF communication than meets the eye. As predictability was also a critical aspect of URT, the evidence would suggest that CMC relationships that developed on Facebook took on the same conventional characteristics of FtF interactions. Consequently, while the context for communication is entirely different in an online setting, the means and social processes involved in developing friendships was still consistent.

However, it is important to understand that Facebook offers an environment where we tend to know most of our connections in person, see their pictures and have the ability to seek out information and context clues from their activity. Therefore, it is also important to study how URT and the strategies apply in CMC when we do not necessarily know or have existing FtF relationships with the other person.

Such a case study is other online dating sites. eHarmony offers a great example to understand how URT applies to a CMC setting where users may not know their connections very well. Neil Warren utilized his 35 years of clinical experience to launch a service that would utilize scientific research on CMC to help people develop meaningful relationships in a safe environment eHarmony, N.

Essentially, the important aspects of information seeking behavior are met with this guided communication. Users can browse profiles based on relevant criteria and a controlled communication environment is there to carefully foster interaction, if any.

Luckily, research has been done on behalf of online dating sites to analyze CMC in online dating communities. In this comprehensive study of respondents who use at least one online dating site such as eHarmony or Match.

com , Gibbs sought to identify if URT strategies were utilized and if so, which ones. Younger adults are also more likely than older ones to say that their relationship began online. In addition, people who have used online dating are significantly more likely to say that their relationship began online than are those who have never used online dating. Compared with when we conducted our first study of dating and relationships in , many more Americans are using online tools to check up on people they used to date, and to flirt with potential or current love interests:.

And while younger adults are also more likely than their elders to look up past flames online, this behavior is still relatively common among older cohorts. Today six out of every ten Americans use social networking sites SNS such as Facebook or Twitter, and these sites are often intertwined with the way they experience their past and present romantic relationships:. Younger adults are especially likely to live out their relationships through social networking sites.

These sites are also being used as a source of background research on potential romantic partners. As more and more Americans use social networking sites, these spaces can become the site of potential tension or awkwardness around relationships and dating. Not surprisingly, young adults—who have near-universal rates of social networking site use and have spent the bulk of their dating lives in the social media era—are significantly more likely than older social media users to have experienced all three of these situations in the past.

And women are more likely than men to have blocked or unfriended someone who was flirting in a way that made them uncomfortable. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, , among a sample of 2, adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline 1, and cell phone 1,, including without a landline phone.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.

Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World.

See our research on: Economy Abortion Russia COVID Pew Research Center has long studied the changing nature of romantic relationships and the role of digital technology in how people meet potential partners and navigate web-based dating platforms. This particular report focuses on the patterns, experiences and attitudes related to online dating in America. These findings are based on a survey conducted Oct. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is plus or minus 2.

Recruiting ATP panelists by phone or mail ensures that nearly all U. adults have a chance of selection. This gives us confidence that any sample can represent the whole U. adult population see our Methods explainer on random sampling. To further ensure that each ATP survey reflects a balanced cross-section of the nation, the data are weighted to match the U. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. You can also find the questions asked, and the answers the public provided in this topline.

From personal ads that began appearing in publications around the s to videocassette dating services that sprang up decades ago, the platforms people use to seek out romantic partners have evolved throughout history. This evolution has continued with the rise of online dating sites and mobile apps. Today, three-in-ten U. Previous Pew Research Center studies about online dating indicate that the share of Americans who have used these platforms — as well as the share who have found a spouse or partner through them — has risen over time.

Americans who have used online dating offer a mixed look at their time on these platforms. On a broad level, online dating users are more likely to describe their overall experience using these platforms in positive rather than negative terms. Additionally, majorities of online daters say it was at least somewhat easy for them to find others that they found physically attractive, shared common interests with, or who seemed like someone they would want to meet in person.

But users also share some of the downsides to online dating. Roughly seven-in-ten online daters believe it is very common for those who use these platforms to lie to try to appear more desirable. Other incidents highlight how dating sites or apps can become a venue for bothersome or harassing behavior — especially for women under the age of Online dating has not only disrupted more traditional ways of meeting romantic partners, its rise also comes at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation also are changing as more people delay marriage or choose to remain single.

These shifting realities have sparked a broader debate about the impact of online dating on romantic relationships in America. Others offer a less flattering narrative about online dating — ranging from concerns about scams or harassment to the belief that these platforms facilitate superficial relationships rather than meaningful ones.

This survey finds that the public is somewhat ambivalent about the overall impact of online dating. adults conducted online Oct. The following are among the major findings. Experience with online dating varies substantially by age.

Beyond age, there also are striking differences by sexual orientation. There are only modest differences between men and women in their use of dating sites or apps, while white, black or Hispanic adults all are equally likely to say they have ever used these platforms.

At the same time, a small share of U. adults report that they found a significant other through online dating platforms.

This too follows a pattern similar to that seen in overall use, with adults under the age of 50, those who are LGB or who have higher levels of educational attainment more likely to report finding a spouse or committed partner through these platforms. Online dating users are more likely to describe their overall experience with using dating sites or apps in positive, rather than negative, terms.

For the most part, different demographic groups tend to view their online dating experiences similarly. But there are some notable exceptions. While majorities across various demographic groups are more likely to describe their searches as easy, rather than difficult, there are some differences by gender. There are substantial gender differences in the amount of attention online daters say they received on dating sites or apps.

The survey also asked online daters about their experiences with getting messages from people they were interested in.

And while gender differences remain, they are far less pronounced. Online daters widely believe that dishonesty is a pervasive issue on these platforms.

By contrast, online daters are less likely to think harassment or bullying, and privacy violations, such as data breaches or identify theft, are very common occurrences on these platforms. Some experts contend that the open nature of online dating — that is, the fact that many users are strangers to one another — has created a less civil dating environment and therefore makes it difficult to hold people accountable for their behavior. This survey finds that a notable share of online daters have been subjected to some form of harassment measured in this survey.

Fewer online daters say someone via a dating site or app has threatened to physically harm them. Younger women are particularly likely to encounter each of these behaviors. The likelihood of encountering these kinds of behaviors on dating platforms also varies by sexual orientation. LGB users are also more likely than straight users to say someone on a dating site or app continued to contact them after they told them they were not interested, called them an offensive name or threatened to physically harm them.

The creators of online dating sites and apps have at times struggled with the perception that these sites could facilitate troubling — or even dangerous — encounters. And although there is some evidence that much of the stigma surrounding these sites has diminished over time, close to half of Americans still find the prospect of meeting someone through a dating site unsafe. Americans who have never used a dating site or app are particularly skeptical about the safety of online dating.

There are some groups who are particularly wary of the idea of meeting someone through dating platforms. Age and education are also linked to differing attitudes about the topic. Americans — regardless of whether they have personally used online dating services or not — also weighed in on the virtues and pitfalls of online dating. These users also believe dating sites and apps generally make the process of dating easier.

On the other hand, people who said online dating has had a mostly negative effect most commonly cite dishonesty and the idea that users misrepresent themselves. Pluralities also believe that whether a couple met online or in person has little effect on the success of their relationship. Public attitudes about the impact or success of online dating differ between those who have used dating platforms and those who have not.

People who have ever used a dating site or app also have a more positive assessment of relationships forged online. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions.

It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World. Newsletters Press Donate My Account. Formats Features Fact Sheets Videos Data Essays.

Research Topics. Features Fact Sheets Videos Data Essays. Next: 1. You are reading page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6. Sign up for our Internet, Science and Tech newsletter New findings, delivered monthly. Report Materials Complete Report PDF Topline Questionnaire Shareable facts about Americans' experiences with online dating American Trends Panel Wave 56 Dataset.

Table of Contents The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating. Related Report May 8, Short Read Mar 24, Short Read Feb 6, MOST POPULAR.

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The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating,Are we sacrificing love for convenience?

AdSeeking Love, Romance or Fun? Meet Ukrainian Women with Best Dating Sites! Make Your Ex Jealous. Browse 5 Best Ukrainian Dating, and Blow Them Away! AdKorean Dating And Singles Site. Browse Photo Profiles. Join Now! Find Your Perfect Match. s of Members! Join Now AdDating, Never Been Easier! All The Options are Wating For You in One Place AdCreate an Online Dating Profile for Free! Only Pay When You Want More Features! Make a Free Dating Site Profile! Only Pay When You're Ready to Start Communicating!blogger.com has been visited by 10K+ users in the past monthMillions of Users · Find Singles Near You · Dating Sites Comparison · Meet Local SinglesTypes: Online Dating, Gay Dating, Lesbian Dating, Casual Dating ... read more

This particular report focuses on the patterns, experiences and attitudes related to online dating in America. As users were concerned with who they were communicating with, they engaged in more information seeking strategies. In this comprehensive study of respondents who use at least one online dating site such as eHarmony or Match. From personal ads that began appearing in publications around the s to videocassette dating services that sprang up decades ago, the platforms people use to seek out romantic partners have evolved throughout history. Face to Face hereafter referred to as FtF interaction is the traditional face to face interaction that exists among humans where visual cues are present. But users also share some of the downsides to online dating.

By contrast, online daters are less likely to think harassment or bullying, and privacy violations, such as data breaches or identify theft, are very common occurrences on these platforms. Gudykunst, research on online dating sites, W. Fewer online daters say someone via a dating site or app has threatened to physically harm them. Facebook relationships thrive on the level of intimacy within self-disclosure. Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents. Many of these even eventually led to a FtF interaction.

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