In a telephone survey of 1013 Australian adults Elizabeth Hardie and Simone Buzwell fond that 78 per cent had used the internet, 13 per cent to form online social relationships. Those forming online relationships tended to be students, young, single, comfortable with new technology, likely to vote Green and unlikely to vote Liberal. When this group was broken down into those who formed online friendships or online romantic relationships close examination of the latter revealed an interesting profile. Those who experienced online romance spanned all age, gender, political and religious groups. Most met their cyberpartner face to face on many occasions and relationships tended to be lasting. Equal proportions of single and partnered individuals admitted they had experienced online romance, indicating that many cyberdaters may be cybercheaters. It appears that the internet is replacing traditional routes to friendship and romance, but further research is needed to clarify the nature and impact of online relationships.
Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society 2006