Second, there is relatively broad public contact with the online dating world because significant numbers of Americans personally know others who have tried and succeeded at online dating.
Some 15% of those in this survey of the general public – representing about 30 million Americans – say they know someone who has been in a long-term relationship or married someone they met online.
Internet users who are single and looking for dates are less likely to hold this negative view; only 20% agree that online daters are desperate.
Those who do regard online daters as desperate tend to have less experience online and say they are less trusting of people generally.
Still, the general online public is evenly divided over the merits of online dating.
Those who have actually used the services are more confident; 43% think that the activity involves risk, while 52% do not see the activity as dangerous.And although online men are more likely than online women to view dating services as a good way to meet people, they are also more likely to categorize online daters as a desperate group.One in ten internet users say they have personally gone to dating websites.Within this group, 37% have gone to a dating website.A majority of online daters report good experiences with the sites.