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Most online daters think that using internet dating services helps to open up the playing field.Fully 64% agree that online dating helps people find a better match because they have access to a larger pool of potential dates, while just 31% disagree with this assessment.Twice as many know someone who has at least dabbled in the online dating scene.
Another 38% disagree, and 15% say they do not know.While some stigma about online dating persists, most internet users do not view it simply as a last resort.The majority (61%) of online adults do not think that people who use online dating are “desperate.” However, 29% hold the view that online daters are in dire dating straits.Those who are in the market for online dating services are a relatively specific group.Looking at the total internet population, 11% of all American internet-using adults—about 16 million people—say they have gone to an online dating website or other site where they can meet people online. Our survey also finds that, at the moment, 7% of online adults, or about 10 million people, say they are currently seeking romantic partners.In a separate question, 6% of online daters say that dating websites do an “excellent” job of protecting people’s personal information, while 32% say they do a “good” job.Another 33% rate the services as “fair” and 12% say the websites do a “poor” job of protecting their information.Another 6% say they do not know whether or not online dating facilitates better connections.The general online public is less certain, but generally supportive of the notion that online dating facilitates better pairing.Most internet users (66%) agree with the statement that online dating is a dangerous activity because it puts personal information on the internet. Female internet users, older users, and those who have lower levels of income or education are among the most wary of these risks.Those who have actually used the services are more confident; 43% think that the activity involves risk, while 52% do not see the activity as dangerous.