“I was surprised by a lot of these results,” he says.
“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.
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.
And Hall’s findings suggest that those flirtations, if they’re on social networking sites, are increasingly likely to lead to meaningful relationships, and even happy marriages.
Of course, the data may also reflect more early social networking behavior than the way that people use the sites today.
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.