WASHINGTON: Have you found the love of your life on Facebook? Read on, as the secret behind which types of couples who meet on social networking sites are most likely to marry, has now been unlocked.
A study suggests, that compared to other ways of meeting online, meeting through social networking sites presents no more of a risk of divorce or separation, and is associated with equal or greater marital satisfaction. Couples who met through social media were more likely to be satisfied in their marriage than those who met in traditional offline ways, such as through friends.
“It is a low-risk, high-reward potential place to meet someone,” said the main author of the study Jeffrey Hall, an associate professor of communication studies from University of Kansas, Lawrence. “You do not have to pay for it, you do not have to create a profile that you would not share with friends and family anyway, and it has a built-in way of recognising people that you might want to be friends with,” he added.
Compared to those who met offline, social networking couples were also younger and more recently married. They were also more likely to be male, and frequent internet users with higher incomes, the study found. The researchers looked at 18,527 Americans who married between 2005 and 2012. They compared those who met through social networking sites, to those who first connected online in other ways, such as internet dating sites or chat rooms.
Researchers then looked at how social networking site couples compared to those who met offline. “Social networking sites bring together couples in the same way traditional methods do, and keep them within a close network of similar people,” Hall explained. Younger generations were more likely to meet through social networking sites because they were early adopters of the technology, and had more expansive friendship networks.
The paper was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2014.