Finding Love Online

Finding Love Online

A Comparative Analysis of Online and "Real Life" Romances

LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ( 2010-08-06 )

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Growing numbers of people are turning to the Internet to seek romantic encounters. This study examines the attractions of online romance in comparison to face-to-face initiated relationships. The results show that there are significant differences between online romantic relationships which developed incidentally and those deliberately sought by individuals. Relationships that began online often extended into the offline world. Whilst this study confirms that online and offline activities coexist as part of the individuals'' social lives, it also implies that online acts would have consequences in users'' everyday life, for good or bad. In the discussion of online relationships, the issue of online infidelity becomes prominent. Nearly half of the respondents in this study had formed their relationships online whilst committed to others in the actual world. A cross-cultural comparison between Asian and European participants was also conducted. This sheds light on the cultural influence on online behaviours. The study provides a preliminary understanding of online relationships and should become a useful reference for anyone who is an active user of online social media.

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Yann-Ling Chin

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