Jeffrey Hall, associate professor of Communication Studies at University of Kansas, was surprised to learn that 7% of people who married after meeting online had met for the first time on social networking sites like Facebook, My Space and Class Mates – not matchmaking chat rooms, or online dating sites or via other romance-centric cyber connections.
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.
The sample included 19,131 participants who had been married once between 20, and were asked where they met – was it online dating sites; email or instant messaging; online communities such as chat rooms or virtual reality games; or social networking sites.
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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.