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“I was surprised by a lot of these results,” he says.
“I think that social networking is the digital version of being introduced by friends.” For most of the 20th 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.
So I went back to the first man to appear in my original search results.
'John' is an attractive thirty-something professional who lives in my current zip code, shares two mutual friends with me, and runs a company.
While there’s no truth filter on sites like Facebook, and there is certainly some amount of self-promotion and exaggeration, having your circle of friends visit your page can keep you pretty honest, which means by and large, your social network version of you is relatively close to the real thing – at least that’s what the studies show. Conversations, observations and interactions on social networking sites may be more casual and low risk, relieved of the pressure and anticipation of a potential date (or rejection for a potential date) that shadow every picture, message and response on dating sites.
“In part, social networking sites provide a low risk, high reward place to meet people,” says Hall.
What the results do show is that we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss social networks as an important tool for finding love in the 21st century.
While it’s possible that people who meet and marry via social networking sites may always be from a young demographic, it’s also possible that as more people join the site, including those who are looking for a second chance at love later in life, could drive that average age up.
Marketing firm Jana asked 1,500 18 to 30-year-olds in nine countries, pictured, where they go online when looking for a relationship.
Facebook was the most popular across the board, with Twitter coming in second and even My Space making the top three in certain regions The highest proportion of people who had met someone online was in Vietnam, at 67%, pictured, whereas only a quarter of people in Brazil said they had gone on online dates.
MORE: Inside Tinder: Meet the Guys Who Turned Dating Into an Addiction “It was really, really astonishing, since [romantic relationships] aren’t the purpose of these sites,” he says of the data, which came from e Harmony, the online dating service.
Hall decided to investigate the connection, and learn more about who was meeting their significant other this way, and how well these marriages fared.When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was rolling out the mysterious 'third pillar' - after News Feed and Timeline - he explained how the Graph is totally different from other web searches.