More people may be finding their mates online these days, but most remain skeptical about technology-assisted romance, according to a recent AvantGo survey about love and dating. While 14% claimed to be dating, married or engaged to someone they met through an online dating service or social networking site, the majority of respondents who took the PDA-based survey still believe that introductions by family, friends and co-workers are a more reliable path to true love. In fact, only 4% ranked online dating as the best way to meet their Valentine.
"We are definitely seeing a global shift in dating patterns, though there appear to be some mixed feelings about it," said James Ryan, editorial director at AvantGo, a service of iAnywhere with a registered user base of more than 10 million tech-savvy mobile professionals. "That was especially interesting coming from our PDA and smartphone users, who tend to be the first to embrace new technology."
The survey results showed very little difference in outlook from continent to continent regarding such prevalent beliefs as "love at first sight," though women throughout the world were slightly more cynical, with 66% saying they were true believers vs. 74% for men.
Even with the advantages of technology, traditional methods for finding a mate remain popular worldwide. Relative to Americans, Europeans were four times more likely to find bars and clubs an attractive locale for finding a date, while Asians preferred social gatherings to find their true love.
And the search for love continues to give a lift to businesses. While men plan to give their loved ones traditional gifts such as flowers, dinner out and chocolates, they are secretly hoping to receive an electronic gadget or CD/DVD. A third of respondents plan to spend more than $100 on their Valentine this year.
Not everything has remained the same. While most respondents chose a traditional dating venue such as dinner and a movie (34%), a weekend getaway (29%) or an evening dancing (8%), 70% of respondents plan to take their PDA with them on that date. In addition, more than a third admit to having used their PDA or smartphone to impress a member of the opposite sex.