“Living like a 1950s housewife has saved me money, helped me lose weight and kept my marriage strong”.
Leafing despondently through a copy of WI Life, I came across this feature. The interviewee and her new husband had agreed to spend the first year of their marriage without television, computers or mobile devices. This radical decision had meant that they now “actually have to talk to each other to communicate”.
A small (and unrepresentative*) survey published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy looked at how young adults in serious relationships used digital technology in their relationships. The researchers found that young people in a relationship were more likely to use text (rather than social media) to communicate with each other. They also found that sending a loving text made both sender and recipient feel good about the relationship and those who attempted to resolve arguments via text message were associated with unhappier relationships.
The Pew Research Center has just published its updated Online Dating and Relationship report (it first began researching this area in 2005). The latest report explores how social networks and mobile devices are impacting the world of dating.
Social networking profiles can contain a wealth of information on potential (or past) partners (relationship status, photographs, hobbies and interests…) and many respondents report doing so:
- 31% of social network users have ‘checked up’ on someone they used to be in a relationship with
- This rises to 48% of those aged 18-29
Breaking up can be complicated enough but the sensitive politics of breaking up now have to take social media presence into account. Many respondents report blocking, unfriending, deleting and untagging their exes. Women users of social media are much more likely to be doing this, either because a relationship has broken down, or because the other person’s behaviour is making them uncomfortable.
- 37% of smartphone users have asked someone out on a date by sending a text message on their cell phone
- 17% have posted details or photos of a date
- 30% with ‘recent dating experience’ have researched prospective partners on social media
- This rises to 41% of 18-29 year olds
Breaking up is hard to do
- 17% of those who have a smartphone and/or use the internet have broken up with someone via text, email or an online message!
- 17% have been broken up with digitally!
* A small study with a much higher than average proportion of engaged couples – and Mormons.
[Follow Val Skelton on Google+]