Everyone's a buzz about the new study from Pew Research, which shows that online dating has risen in popularity.
While most of us realize this from the everyday conversations we're having with singles on the dating scene, we really need to credit the introduction and rise of mobile dating apps for the increase in acceptance to digital dating. Pew reports that 7 percent of cell phone apps users (representing 3 percent of all adults) say that they have used a dating app on their cell phone. The convenience of dating from your mobile phone will not only result in meeting more people, but will also speed up the process from initial contact to meeting in person.
When Pew conducted their research study in 2005, more singles hid the fact that they were dating online and Internet dating wasn't a $2 billion industry. Eight years ago, the stigma was very apparent with 29 percent believing that dating on the Internet was just something those who were desperate had to do. Fortunately, the number has shrunk to 21 percent today.
Online Dating by the Numbers
According to the study, single men and women from 25-34 are the most popular demographic for Internet daters.
Other important statistics from the survey include:
▪ 42 percent know someone who has used online dating.
▪ 29 percent know someone who has been in a long-term relationships or marriage with someone they've met online.
▪ 66 percent of online daters have gone out on a date with someone they met on a dating site.
▪ 11 percent of adult American Internet users have used online dating sites.
▪ 38 percent of those who are "single and looking" have used online dating sites and mobile dating apps.
While these numbers continue to rise from Pew's survey in 2005, over half of those who have dated online have had a bad experience. From misrepresentation of age, weight, marital status and more, I wish there was more truth-in-advertising with Internet dating. Somehow the insecurity of many single daters to fit into a search is something that won't be going away soon.
Social media now makes it easy to do an impromptu background search to see if you're former flame is single or in a relationship, or to check on someone who has caught your digital eye. The Pew survey showed that 30 percent of social networking users were researching those they were interested in dating. This proves that singles really need to make sure they keep their online dating profiles, Facebook pages and Linkedin profiles as a personal digital resume for their love lives.
At the end of the digital day, the stigma from online dating will continue to dissipate. I expect that one day the stigma will become as obsolete as your old fax machine collecting dust in your garage.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. Julie coaches singles on the dating scene with her irresistible profiles and is the host of Online Dating BootCamp and Mobile Dating BootCamp. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt.