Commentary

One in Five Young Women Has Broken Up via Social Media

Surely the only thing more humiliating than being dumped is being dumped in public -- especially if there is a record of it that will live online forever. That is an increasingly common fate, judging by a new survey of 4,000 women around the world by AVG Technologies, which found that 19% of women ages 18-25 said they have ended a relationship by posting on Facebook. Meanwhile 38% of women in the same age-range said they have broken up via text message.

 

What’s more, your social profile might keep you from getting a date in the first place, as 35% of women surveyed worldwide said they use social media to check out their dates before meeting them in person (in February a Match.com survey of 5,000 U.S. singles found that 48% of single American women said they research dates on Facebook, compared to 38% of single American men). According to the AVG survey the most important material for pre-date evaluations and reviews was pictures, followed by common friends, interests, and comments, in that order. There was however considerable variation by nationality: fewer than a quarter of French women said they look at social media before a date, compared to 34% of Canadians, while fully 61% of Brazilian women ages 18-25 said they had canceled a date based on information obtained via social media. French women were also less likely to secretly read their partners’ text or email messages (18%, compared to 40% of Canadian women and 50% of Brazilian women).

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In a sign of widespread mobile addiction (or some other trend less flattering to the male ego), over half of women in France, Germany, and Canada said they would rather give up sex for a week than their mobile device, according to AVG. This echoes the results of a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. and Canadian women by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, published in March, which found that intensive social media users are more likely to enjoy online socializing than dating or spending time with their partner.

 

Of course, social media also deserves credit for helping people meet each other. A survey of 2,000 men and women in the U.S. and the U.K. by Havas Worldwide, also published in March, found that 50% of those polled know someone whose romantic relationship started online. On the down side, however, 25% indicated that they know someone whose offline relationship ended because of their actions online. Another survey, publicized in February by the New York Daily News, found that 67% of cheaters said they have a “fake” Facebook account for philandering, while half said they have a secret email or Twitter account.

 

In addition to enabling romance, social media can be an erotic channel in its own right: according to the Match.com survey mentioned above, one-third of the singles surveyed (32%) have sent a “sext”, and over half (51%) have received one. In addition, 42% of single men surveyed said they wouldn’t be offended if someone shared a revealing pic they sent, compared to 13% of women.

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