Facebook Essential to Dating, Study Shows
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
November 15 2011 02:05 PM ET
Facebook can make or break a relationship. According to an October 2011 survey of 550 social networking adults, Facebook is at the heart of relationships — beginning, middle and end.
Met someone interesting? If you’re like the majority of those in the Lab42 survey, you’ll send a Facebook "friend" request to do some reconnaissance before asking that person out. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents in the poll said they will friend someone new after meeting them. (Let the stalking begin!)
Is ‘Facebook Official’ the new exclusive?
If they like what they see, 42 percent will seek them out in person, but 25 percent said they are most likely to contact a new love interest via Facebook . Less-popular methods for reaching out are by phone (16 percent), text message (11 percent), email (5 percent), and other or none (2 percent).
If the relationship takes hold, 38 percent will update their relationship status on Facebook and become “Facebook Official,” an indication that the couple is now exclusive. Only 24 percent will tell their friends first, and an equal number will wait until their new significant other changes his or her Facebook status.
Facebook continues to be an important communication tool between partners once they are “in a relationship.” Throughout the day, 79 percent of couples said, they send partners Facebook messages or chat on the popular social network. While messaging remains private between people on Facebook, couples are not shy about writing love notes for their Facebook friends to see — 64 percent said they do or would post romantic messages on their siginificant other’s Facebook wall.
If it starts on Facebook, it’s likely to end on Facebook
When it comes to breaking up, one third of respondents report they have broken up via Facebook, text message or email, and 40 percent said they would.
And how would they share the news? More than half (52 percent) said they would update their Facebook status to “single” from “in a relationship” immediately — that’s before telling their friends. And only 9 percent said they would wait for their partner to change his or her status before updating their own. As soon as a status update hits the system, Facebook will send out a notification to your entire friend list to jump-start the dating cycle again.
While Facebook users have integrated the ubiquitous site into their dating lives, Facebook does not seem to be in any danger of becoming the next Match.com. In other survey results released by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, only 3 percent of users said that finding potential romantic or dating partners is a “major reason” why they use these sites, and 84% say that this is “not a reason at all” for their social network usage.