Report: 30% Of Couples Who Have Internet Access Met Online

happy couple
Love, Self

New research shows online dating has boomed, and changed the way couples connect worldwide.

If you're single and you've never tried online dating, you've probably thought about it. Watch TV and you'll be bombarded with ads for PlentyOfFish, and eHarmony. You probably have a friend (or several) who met her husband on a social-networking or dating site. Everyone seems to be looking for love on the Internet, and with good reason. While it's still more common to meet your S.O. at a bar or through a friend, new research shows that may change real fast. 10 Reasons to Give Online Dating a Try

Right now, 30 percent of couples who have internet access around the globe met online. And during the past 14 years, that number has skyrocketed. The research, conducted in part by the eHarmony Lab, shows that the more friends a person knows who have tried and met love online, the more likely he or she is to take a chance on internet matchmaking. So, as the number of online daters continues to grow, it becomes a domino effect.

"We posit that online dating requires a critical mass of Internet connectivity and exposure. This is one further reason for its rise after 1997," the report says. "In general, it is clear that meeting others online either for friendship or romantic purposes is now a common, and in some contexts dominant, practice."

And the takeover isn't just an American thing, it's happening worldwide. Interestingly, Japan seems to be the most skeptical place on the planet for pursuing relationships online—surprising, since the country is considered pretty tech-savvy—as Japanese respondents indicated they're reluctant to try online dating sites. On the other hand, survey-takers in Brazil—a nation known for being very public and social—are some of the most comfortable meeting dates on the Internet. 5 Online Dating Red Flags Women Look For

The report also revealed that older men and women are more likely to begin dating people they meet on the Internet (36 percent of people over age forty vs. 23 percent under age forty), which makes a certain amount of sense. There is still a "last resort" stigma attached to online dating. However, if this study is any indication, the influx of internet love matches means that stigma will soon become a thing of the past.