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Those who met on social networking sites were more likely to be younger, married more recently, and African American compared to those who met on other ways on the internet.

MORE: Inside Tinder: Meet the Guys Who Turned Dating Into an Addiction “It was really, really astonishing, since [romantic relationships] aren’t the purpose of these sites,” he says of the data, which came from e Harmony, the online dating service.“In part, social networking sites provide a low risk, high reward place to meet people,” says Hall.“It’s a good place to do some investigating and a good place to learn about people that doesn’t carry the self-presentational weight of creating an online dating profile.” The fact that most of the marriages were among African-Americans could reflect the fact that at the time the data were collected, between 20, African-Americans and Latinos were over-represented on social networking sites compared to their proportions in the general population.Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine.While it dominated the early days of cyber connecting, for example, My Space was surpassed by Facebook in 2008 as the primary source of online interactions.And the rising age of Facebook users may also have an effect on the patterns that Hall found.“I think that social networking is the digital version of being introduced by friends.” For most of the 20th century, friend-based introductions were the primary way people met their spouse, he says, and social networks may simply be an extension of that pattern.That could also explain why marriages that began on social networking sites were also no more likely to end in divorce than unions that were generated by online dating sites that involve algorithms and strangers trying to match people together, rather than acquaintances who know their friends’ likes and dislikes and personality best.Redskins linebacker Lynden Trail usually poses questions to his Facebook followers, but when he asked about interracial dating, Trail got a divisive answer from a football fan. The post has since been removed, but Trail asked why wealthy Black athletes marry white women Thursday, March 16.

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