Saturday, February 11th, 2012 - McCrindle Research

Social Media makes relationships easier

This Valentine’s Day social media users (and there are 845 million on Facebook alone) are likely to nudge, like or write on the “wall” of their sweetheart, as new research from McCrindle Research shows 8 in 10 social media users (81%) believe it has made connecting with others romantically easier.

As part of a bigger study on how social media has changed the nature of our friendships, romances and professional relationships, McCrindle Research today releases the topline findings in regards to finding love online.


Stalk before talk:

A well known benefit of liking someone in the modern age is that by a click of mouse, you can access pages of online information about them. The research found that Facebook is the perfect way to assess a person before making contact, with three quarters (75%) of respondents stating that if they were interested in someone romantically, they would spend time secretly exploring their Facebook (or similar social media) profile before engaging with them. 29% even said they would do this in-depth! Generation Y were most likely to Facebook stalk, with over 2 in 5 (42%) saying they would study the profile of a romantic interest in detail before approaching them.


The rules of engagement:

Dating via Facebook is becoming a normal part of a relationship’s foundation, with nearly 1 in 5 respondents (19%) having asked someone out via social media. For Gen Y this is much more of a reality with 35% having been asked out themselves via social media!

It used to be a mortal sin to break up with someone over text or email, and it seems that Facebook could now also be added to the list with 1 in 20 (5%) of respondents reporting that they had been dumped via social media.

What’s more, when asked how they would proceed if they were interested in someone romantically, using social media was a popular choice among Gen Ys, with nearly as many saying they would use Facebook or twitter to connect a romantic interest, as calling or sending a text message.

 

Mark McCrindle, director of McCrindle Research, said,

“Social media has redefined the concept of friends and increased our networks exponentially in size and scope. It’s in this environment that younger Australians no longer need to rely on their friends to help set them up with a romantic interest. Facebook is a ‘social risk reducer’ which facilitates people stepping out of their comfort zones and this results in both positive and negative outcomes.”


Going public:

How we display ourselves online is constantly at the forefront of our minds, with just 8% saying they never actively consider what they post on Facebook and how this represents them as a person. In contrast, 57% of respondents claim to always consider this before they post anything, with 8 in 10 (81%) say they consider this most of the time.


Relationships in the public eye:

Once the relationship has commenced, over 1 in 10 (11%) of social media users would change their Facebook status within 24 hours to let the world know, over 1 in 20 (6%) wouldn’t wait any time at all! Still, over half (53%) feel it’s best to wait until a relationship feels serious before publicising it to the world.
As the foundational users (and creators!) of social media such as Facebook, Gen Y is much more comfortable with having their relationship status online. Over a quarter (26%) of Gen Ys would definitely announce a new relationship online compared to 17% of Gen Xes and 5% of Baby Boomers!

Interestingly, social media users are far more likely to post about their relationship successes, as oppose to things that just don’t work out. 45% were likely to post about a new relationship on social media, compared to just 30% who were likely to post about the end of a relationship. Those who said they would definitely do so in the case of a new relationship (14%) doubled that of those who would definitely do so at the end of a relationship (7%).


Mark McCrindle said,
“There is a sense in which Facebook messaging and tweeting gives an airbrushed view of our lives. Much social media is more about posturing and positioning than belonging and being. But this is little different from the start of most relationships where people generally show their best side.”

 

Methodology:

This national research was conducted by McCrindle Research in January 2011. The 673 Australians who completed the survey were selected through Australia Speaks, McCrindle Research’s research-only panel hosted by Cint, an aggregated panel which has 60,000 active members in Australia. This survey was managed through Qualtrics, a world leader in online research infrastructure.

Full a full demographic breakdown of those who completed the survey and full data graphs for each section of this release, please contact Mark McCrindle on 0411 5000 90, or Francesca Dalton on 0401 253 579 or [email protected]