"We used to meet in bars, and restaurants, we now meet on Facebook and Twitter," said David Jones, global CEO of Havas Worldwide and Euro RSCG Worldwide. "Social media hasn't replaced but has enhanced real world relationships making them faster, more transparent and more authentic."
Highlights of the study include:
Social Media is the Catalyst for Finding Love… Fast. All specialist matchmaker sites have a role in leading to a relationship, but general social networking sites such as Facebook are by far the most promising places to find love, especially for young respondents. The speed at which this is happening is unprecedented.
Romance Really Can Exist Online, but People Want More. Although more than one-third of Americans believe it's possible to have a romantic relationship online, more women than men still need a physical connection to make it work for them.
Flirting online is the new norm. More men than women risk flirting online, with a substantial 39 percent of men saying they've flirted online, compared with a more modest 23 percent of women.
To Cheat, or Not to Cheat. More than half of Americans think the Internet has made it easier for people to cheat on their partners. A strikingly high portion of the overall sample (31 percent) knows somebody whose relationship ended because of his or her actions online.
Online or Offline…It's Cheating. A great majority of Americans disagree that "having a strongly sexual relationship online doesn't count as cheating on your partner."
Take the Pressure Off. Nearly a third of women and men say online relationships can take the pressure off face-to-face relationships.
The Young Lead the Way. For Gen Y, it's all about checking out the full range of who's available, playing the field, trying out partners and maybe hoping to find "the one" for a serious relationship. This is going to have a major impact on the way this generation approaches everything from business relationships to love.
Age Is Just a Number. For older people who might not feel like cruising singles bars or be ready for senior speed dating, online services will be a new lease on romantic life.