Are Australians finding love online? The style and frequency of Australian adultâ€™s internet relationships
A telephone survey of a representative sample of 1013 Australian adults revealed that 13% had used the internet to form online social relationships. When this group was broken down into those who formed online friendships and online romantic relationships, examination of the latter revealed an interesting profile. Those who experienced online romance spanned all age, gender, political, employment status, voting and religious groups.
When the friendship and the romance groups were compared, it was found that there were few differences, although there was a non-significant trend for the online romance group to be more educated. The two groups also had similar levels of life satisfaction; trust in science and comparable beliefs regarding the benefits of science; while the romantic relationship group reported less comfort in new technologies than those who were searching online for friendship. One potentially surprising finding was that equal proportions of single and partnered individuals admitted that they had experienced online romance, indicating that many cyberdaters may be cybercheaters. When examining the online romances, it was found that they tended to be long lasting and many respondents mentioned that they were highly fulfilling. Thus, it appears that the internet is becoming an accepted method for finding romance and may be a useful tool for individuals to explore.