New research claims that the majority of mobile daters aren’t looking for hookups, with over half of those asked admitting to using tech to find love.
Research conducted by the University of Sydney says that singles aren’t using online dating just for hookups – a counter to popular assumptions about users of apps like Tinder, OkCupid and Grindr.
The study, “Liquid love? Dating apps, sex, relationships and the digital transformation of intimacy”, looked at the dating habits of 365 people (most of whom were below the age of 30).
And the findings revealed that over half (55%) of those studied were using online dating apps to find dates, compared to just 25% who admitted to being on the apps solely for sexual purposes.
Dr. Mitchell Hobbs from the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney said: “Most people are not using the technology merely for increased sexual promiscuity, but are in fact seeking to find a potential longer-term partner.
“Dating apps are also making it easier for people to meet like-minded individuals.
“This is especially important for individuals who don’t have the time, or the inclination, to meet people in sites of traditional matchmaking, such as bars and clubs.”
When asked why they turned to online dating, a huge 87% of people said they felt these platforms actually helped them to find love, offering them more opportunity, because of the bigger pool of options available.
This increased opportunity was also found to help the dating options of people in “thin markets”, such as those in older age brackets.
Hobbs also said: “The social stigma that was once associated with online forms of dating is also breaking down, as more people embrace the technology.
“The technology thrives because it is useful, and will die when it no longer offers pathways to connect and communicate that are advantageous to users.
“Remembering this is important as dating apps provide merely the potential to facilitate real-life sexual and romantic encounters.”
However, the study did reveal that some people are using online dating for more controversial reasons, with 10% admitting to having taken advantage of the ease of online dating, in order to cheat on their partners.
This is something Hobbs suggests is down to an increase in people’s fear of missing out, a culture he says is heightened by the internet, and something that could encourage people to stray in relationships.
And although a lot of people (2/3) did admit to preferring the idea of meeting a partner offline, many did feel that online dating was becoming a “legitimate” way to meet someone.
To find out more and download the study please click here.