While it dominated the early days of cyber connecting, for example, My Space was surpassed by Facebook in 2008 as the primary source of online interactions.And the rising age of Facebook users may also have an effect on the patterns that Hall found.
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“In part, social networking sites provide a low risk, high reward place to meet people,” says Hall.
“It’s a good place to do some investigating and a good place to learn about people that doesn’t carry the self-presentational weight of creating an online dating profile.”The fact that most of the marriages were among African-Americans could reflect the fact that at the time the data were collected, between 20, African-Americans and Latinos were over-represented on social networking sites compared to their proportions in the general population.
“I think that social networking is the digital version of being introduced by friends.” For most of the 20 century, friend-based introductions were the primary way people met their spouse, he says, and social networks may simply be an extension of that pattern.
That could also explain why marriages that began on social networking sites were also no more likely to end in divorce than unions that were generated by online dating sites that involve algorithms and strangers trying to match people together, rather than acquaintances who know their friends’ likes and dislikes and personality best.
MORE: Online Dating Doesn’t Just Save You Time, It Saves You at Least ,400And when the participants were compared on marital satisfaction, the partners who met via social networking reported being just as happy as those who were introduced on online dating sites, which tout their compatibility benefits, and more satisfied than those who met on online communities, which nurture conversations among people with similar interests and beliefs.
What surprised Hall even more, however, was that the social networking-based relationships were happier than those that began offline, in traditional ways such as being introduced by mutual friends.“I was surprised by a lot of these results,” he says.
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