Chances are, you know someone (or are someone) who either uses online dating apps or met his or her romantic partner using an online dating site or mobile app. Forty one percent of Americans know someone who uses digital dating aids and 29 percent know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner that way, says a Pew study.
The use of online dating sites and/or mobile dating apps steadily increased among American adults from 2013 to 2015 -- from 11 percent to 15 percent -- and the most prolific growth has been on two ends of the age spectrum: from 10 percent to 27 percent in the 18-to-24-year-old set and from 6 to 12 percent among those ages 55 to 64.
The survey is based on the responses of more than 2,000 adults taken between June and July last year.
An earlier Pew study shows that the numbers surge among higher levels of education and income. Fifty eight percent of college graduates know people who use online dating compared to 25 percent among those with just a high school degree.
Overall, Americans are overwhelmingly positive about their experiences with online dating. Eighty percent agree that online dating is a good way to meet people, 62 percent think that the intersection of dating and technology allows for a better match and 61 percent say that it offers more convenience and efficiency.
While digital dating users can agree that the dating options offer more advantages than not, some of the drawbacks cited are personal safety issues (45 percent), the tendency to keep dating because of the plethora of options (31 percent) and the image of “desperation” associated with online dating sites (16 percent).
However, the majority of people who are currently using online dating sites aren’t desperate or even looking for hookups. A mere 25 percent of the respondents currently dating online say they’re in it just for fun. Most are looking for deeper human connections. Sixty percent of current users say that the reason why they’re dating online is to meet people with similar interests or hobbies and over 50 percent hope to meet someone who shares similar beliefs and values.
Almost half of the respondents currently using dating apps/online services are digital romantics -- and hope to find the "one."