A new poll finds online dating to be growing in popularity in a big way. Findings show that nine percent of American adults now use some form of online matchmaking service or mobile app. This shows that using the internet to find dates is gaining ground in American culture. As recent as 2008, only three percent of American adults said they had used an online resource to look for a date.
As CBS News reports, 38 percent of Americans who say they are “single and looking” have used an online resource to try to find a love interest. In case anyone may think the growing number of online daters simply means a rise in the pathetically desperate, the poll also found that 59 percent of internet users say dating sites and apps can be a good way to meet people. Yep, it’s official: Online dating has gone mainstream.
As the report from Pew’s recent polling shows, two-thirds of people who use websites like OKCupid and eHarmony say they’ve had luck finding a date that way. How many who’ve done online dating have found a long-term partner or spouse, though? An impressive 23 percent, according to Pew. That means that one in 20 Americans in a long-term relationship or in a marriage originally met through an online dating site or app.
So, who does all this online dating anyway? Perhaps not as surprising, electronic pairing is most popular among 25 to 34-year-olds, one of the most internet-savvy demographic, claiming about 22 percent of online daters. However, the next age bracket, which includes people up to their mid-40s, claims 17 percent of online daters.
Acceptance of online dating has now officially overtaken disapproval this year, as well. In 2005, 44 percent of Americans said they see online dating as a “good way to meet people.” Since then, this number has risen to 59 percent, a significant change. A question Pew included in their recent poll asked whether Americans thought online dating was just for people who were desperate. Eight years ago nearly 30 percent said it was. In 2013, only 21 percent still believe this.
Though the new poll includes a great deal of good news for online dating Americans, over half say other users have “seriously misrepresented themselves” on their profile. Worse still, more than a quarter say they have felt uncomfortable or even harassed by another user. Another finding was that nearly one-third say internet dating discourages long-term relationships and marriage because it always provides options to find dates.
Do you, like one in ten Americans, engage in online dating? If so, have you had good or bad experiences? Or if you haven’t tried it out yet, does online dating’s rising popularity and acceptance increase your interest in giving it a try? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!
[Image via ShutterStock]