“Finding your partner online was once regarded as a bit of a novelty, but this survey suggests it has become a common if not dominant way of meeting new partners,” OII Research Fellow and study co-author Bernie Hogan said in a statement.
He said the questionnaire -- which related to the period 1997 to 2009 -- also revealed that people who know others who date online were more likely to try it and approve.
The poll of 12,000 couples from 18 countries by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) at the University of Oxford found that of people aged 40-69 looking to start new relationships, 36 percent revealed they had found their current partner online.
Users created and maintained identities with meaningful usernames and chat handles, or pseudonyms.
We may argue that this is the same today, and in some respects it is, but with the rapid standardization of browsers, the decline of homepages, the progress of mobile networking, and success of a few number of social networking platforms there can be no doubt that over the last decade our network has significantly changed our interactions and therefore personal identities.
This could be because they are viewed as less successful hunting grounds, the study’s authors said.
For example, only one in 15 people who said they were looking through their church found someone that way.
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No longer content to be members of specialized forums and bulletin boards, users opted instead for global citizenship featuring profile environments –the WWW’s version of a passport, or ID.
I remember a time when the Internet of the ‘90s was filled with various spaces of sociality, catering to specialized categories and celebrities, likes and dislikes, somewhat chaotic and inundated with an overuse of graphics and early animation –it was a space to get lost in.
Despite the recent spike in online dating, most of the sample said they had met their partner through traditional offline channels -- through friends of friends (67 percent) or meeting at clubs or bars (69 percent). ’ the most likely answer is still ‘through mutual friends’ or ‘at a club or bar,'” co-author and OII Director William Dutton said.
The study also shows there might be national differences in attitudes to online dating.
Users in Northern European countries are slightly but significantly more likely to rely on one-to-one dating websites while those in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking nations are more likely to use social networking sites as well.