Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.
Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.
They exploit their access to potential victims and establish trust before meeting.
Attacks mostly were committed during the first face-to-face meetings after contact was made through dating sites or apps. Online dating services have been around since the early days of the Web, with major paid sites like emerging in 1995 and e Harmony in 2000.
We refer to these individuals throughout this report as “online daters,” and we define them in the following way: Taken together, 11% of all American adults have done one or both of these activities and are classified as “online daters.” In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.
Some 22% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 35-44 year olds are online daters.
e Harmony is Australia's second biggest traditional dating site, boasting over a million users in Australia.
That's a small fraction of the number of online encounters, to be sure.
Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.
Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005.
Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.
To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.