15% of American adults use online dating sites or mobile apps
Zoosk is the online dating site and dating app where you can browse photos of local singles, match with daters, and chat. You never know who you might find!. Yet, dating sites are just one of many online avenues that facilitate romantic connections. Report. March 5, In a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, there are two central findings that illustrate how important the. Mediated possibilities to connect with others have evolved from newspaper advertisements to teletext to online dating websites, and the latest.
Nevertheless, a review of the literature on Internet-initiated romantic relationships provides some support for our contention that attitudes toward and experiences in relationships developed online might vary with age.
For example, Donn and Sherman examined the attitudes of undergraduates the vast majority of whom were between the age of 18 and 20 and 76 Ph. Overall, both groups exhibited negative attitudes toward using the Internet to meet potential romantic partners.
However, compared to the graduate student subsample, undergraduate respondents were significantly more negative in their evaluations of Internet dating and those who engage in it.
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Undergraduates also expressed significantly greater concern with issues surrounding trust and safety relative to graduate students, although both groups were sensitive to the possible risks in these domains. Finally, undergraduates were less likely than graduate students to report considering using the Internet to meet potential partners or actually having used the Internet for that purpose. A rather more favorable picture of online dating—or at least of online daters—emerged in Brym and Lenton's large-scale survey of members of a Canadian online dating service.
Contrary to stereotypes of online daters popular at the time of the study, and in direct contrast to the prejudicial views held by participants especially the undergraduates in the Donn and Sherman study, Brym and Lenton found that their sample of online daters was in fact more sociable offline than the general Canadian population. Their respondents were highly involved in clubs and organizations, visited relatives often, and frequently engaged in social and leisure pursuits with others.
Together with the lines of argument we developed above, these two studies highlight the need for further research investigating age in the context of Internet dating.
The Donn and Sherman results suggest that older and younger respondents may differ in their attitudes toward and willingness to engage in dating on the net. The majority of their participants had never used the Internet to initiate a romantic relationship, however, thus limiting our ability to generalize their findings to online daters. The Brym and Lenton study, in contrast, sampled active members of a popular online dating site.
Their results corroborate findings that older adults are active in online dating and call into question stereotyped views—shown in Donn and Sherman to be rather prevalent among younger adults at least those with little or no involvement in online dating —which cast online daters as lonely and desperate Anderson, ; Wildermuth, At the same time, Brym and Lenton did not examine respondent age as a variable of interest.
Consequently, the extent to which their participants' attitudes toward, involvement in, and experiences with online dating varied with age remain empirical questions. The analyses presented in this paper were intended to build on the contributions of these earlier studies.
Following Donn and Shermanwe investigated respondent age as an important variable in its own right. Following Brym and Lentonwe recruited Internet users with at least some exposure to Internet personals ads and online dating sites. We sought to answer the following three research questions: Is age associated with involvement in online dating?
- 15% of American Adults Have Used Online Dating Sites or Mobile Dating Apps
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Is age associated with satisfaction with offline methods of meeting people? Is age associated with the likelihood that participants have disclosed to friends and family the fact that they use the Internet to meet people? Age and Involvement in Online Dating Our review of reasons to expect that age might be an important variable to consider in understanding the pursuit of online romance suggested two competing hypotheses regarding the direction of any correlation 3 we might observe between age and measures of extent of involvement in online dating and the use of Internet personals ads.
If this were the case, we would expect involvement in online dating to decrease with age. On the other hand, we also reasoned that a variety of contextual life changes associated with increasing age might intensify individuals' motivation to seek new partners while both making it more difficult for older individuals to meet people through offline means and increasing the appeal of dating methods that confer benefits in terms of time and efficiency, size of the pool, and the ability to screen and select potential partners.
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If this were the case, we would expect involvement in online dating to increase with age. Accordingly, we tested the following competing predictions: Individuals will be more apt to engage in online dating the younger they are. Individuals will be more apt to engage in online dating the older they are. Age and Satisfaction With Other Methods of Meeting People Regardless of whether involvement in online dating increases or decreases with age, we expected to find a negative association between respondent age and rated satisfaction with non-Internet ways of finding romantic partners.
This hypothesis was predicated in part on the assumption that, given older adults' reduced access to natural social institutions Hitsch et al. We thus predicted that: Satisfaction with offline means of meeting people will decrease with age, and H4: Self-reported opportunities for meeting potential partners will narrow with age. Age and the Stigma of Online Dating Our final research question was intended to assess albeit in an indirect fashion the degree to which age may be associated with variations in the stigma our participants attached to online dating.
Once again we offered competing predictions concerning the direction that any correlation between age and stigma might take. Based on this possibility, we predicted that: Alternatively, younger adults might attach greater stigma to online dating because they have substantially greater access than older adults to the sorts of natural institutions that offer easy access to large numbers of potential partners Hitsch et al.
They ought, in this case, to be less willing to disclose the fact of their involvement in online dating to close others. Thus, along with H5, we proposed the competing prediction that: The dating site relies on personality tests and in-depth profiles to match compatible singles in long-lasting relationships.
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