Throughout this report, we will refer to these two groups collectively as people with recent dating experience.
For those questions asked only of those with recent dating experience, we excluded people in longer-term relationships because technology was almost by definition not part of their dating lives.
As these sites have evolved in the ensuing years, they have typically assumed one of two forms.
Some offer a “personal ads” format, in which users create their own profile and browse the profiles of others on their own (Match.com, Ok Cupid, and Plentyof Fish are common examples of this type of service).
At the same time, marriage still holds wide appeal for those who have not tied the knot.
This study looks at the ways in which online social networks provide new avenues for meeting “friends of friends” or for researching potential partners before meeting them in person, as well as some of the ways in which awkwardness or “drama” can develop in these highly public venues.
Chapter One of this report looks specifically at online dating sites and dating apps.
This study incorporates these dating apps into our definition of an “online dating user,” and also examines the ways in which cell phones are becoming intertwined in the broader dating environment.
The second major change involves the widespread adoption of social networking sites.
Someone who has been married since the early 1990s has obviously not broken up with someone via text messaging, for example.