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Still, most Americans, according to the Pew Research Center, still want to get married at some point in their lives.
The Census reported in 2011 that 51 percent of adult Americans were married—an all-time low and falling, while the median age for marriage hit an all-time high (29 for men and 27 for women).
Cacioppo cites studies that suggest online users provide more “authentic ...
self disclosure” in line with face-to-face friendships, although that certainly conflicts with the popular trope of the online liar, from Manti Te’o’s faux paramour to truth shaders and even cyber Cyranos.
The rate of breakups was not significantly different across sites, and breakups in general were less common for online-initiated marriages (six percent versus 7.7 percent).
But are all those newlyweds just sticking together for the statisticians?
paper suggesting “that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself.” The most obvious place to start examining the nexus of the Web and the altar would be dating websites, whose claims—“When you’re ready to find the love of your life,” boasts e-Harmony—have fostered a growing billion-dollar industry (make a date for their tradeshow this weekend in Beverly Hills! I stress the word “claims.” As Cacioppo and company note in their paper, “Various online dating sites claim that their methods for pairing individuals produce more frequent, higher quality, or longer lasting marriages, but the evidence underlying the claims to date has not met conventional standards of scientific evidence.” That same skepticism was a hallmark of a “critical analysis” of online dating headed by Northwestern’s Eli J. Fewer Americans tie the knot even as gays battle state by state to be able to do so.