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Throughout human history, people have sought assistance from others in meeting romantic partners – and Americans today are increasingly looking for love online by enlisting the services of online dating sites and a new generation of mobile dating apps.
Users of online dating are generally positive – but far from universally so – about the pros and cons of dating digitally.
Meanwhile, the share of 55- to 64-year-olds who use online dating has doubled over the same time period (from 6% in 2013 to 12% in 2015).
For young adults in particular, this overall increase in online dating usage has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the use of mobile dating apps.
Although 15% of Americans have used online dating themselves, a larger share report that they are familiar with online dating from the experiences of people they know.
Some 41% of American adults say they know someone who uses online dating, while 29% indicate they know someone who has married or entered into a long-term partnership with someone they met via online dating.
On one hand, a majority of online dating users agree that dating digitally has distinct advantages over other ways of meeting romantic partners: But despite these reservations, those who have personally used online dating themselves – or know someone who does – tend to have much more positive attitudes compared to those with little direct exposure to online dating or online daters.