You may have read that dating sites like Match.com and OkCupid have taken a beating lately.
But a new study suggests that some of these sites are actually worth looking at.
The Times has the story.
A survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram have helped build a better-informed population about the world.
In the same survey, people are less likely to report using those sites when it comes to finding a partner, but they are more likely to use them when it is about getting laid.
The study, which analyzed data from over 5,000 people, found that, “The rise in social network usage among people between the ages of 18 and 34 is correlated with higher levels of loneliness, depression and anxiety.”
That finding has a lot of people scratching their heads.
The Pew study surveyed people ages 18-34.
Some of the findings: Pew said that, while the average age of those surveyed was 33, a significant number of people between 18 and 39 are using social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest to find love.
About 50 percent of 18-to-39-year-olds reported having a Facebook account and 26 percent reported having an Instagram account.
The average age for people who used those platforms to find a partner was 34.
Polls suggest that many people are struggling with loneliness and depression.
Pew’s findings also suggest that there is a greater interest in social networking for singles in the United States than in Europe, but not as much in other countries.
“The rise of social networking in the U.S. has been so significant in recent years that the question of whether it’s good for people has become a much more important one,” said John Cacioppo, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine who studies loneliness and its effects.
Cacioppo noted that the trend is especially notable in young people.
The Pew study, titled The Rise of Social Networking: Does It Matter for You?
(2013), found that the average social networking account use by people ages 15 to 24 was more than two times as high as the average use by 18- to 29-year old people.
It also found that 17 percent of people over 30 years old had a Facebook or Instagram account, and 29 percent of young people ages 17 to 18 had one.
According to the Pew study’s findings, people who have a Facebook and/or Instagram account are more often searching for relationships, with those who have one having an average of two to three times the average for people ages 30 to 39.
That may seem like a small number, but the researchers say that, by age 30, about half of people have already moved to a new city or have moved away.
That means that if you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, you may be finding a better match for your romantic interests online than you did before.
There are other trends.
A large study of Facebook users in the UK, published in 2015, found a similar correlation between the amount of time spent on Facebook and the amount they searched for partners.
About 22 percent of Facebook user said that they had spent more time on Facebook in the past year than they had in the previous year, compared to just 5 percent of users who did not use the site.
The same study found that people who were active on Facebook, had more partners and searched more for partners were more likely than people who did the opposite.
But what about dating sites?
Is social networking good for singles?
In the Pew report, they found that dating profiles are much more popular on Facebook than they are on any other platform.
For those younger than 35, social networking profiles are also more popular than they were a decade ago, and the average number of friends on Facebook is almost twice the average of users ages 30-39.