NEW YORK (StudyFinds.org) – Who says your online friends aren’t real friends? Gen Z and millennial Americans have felt lonelier than ever since the pandemic began — but new research finds online apps are helping them connect with others in need.
A survey of 2,000 singles reveals that 77% have turned to online friendships to make connections and ease their loneliness. Three in five people have met new friends through dating apps in the past two years, and two-thirds (66%) credit their online friends for helping them through the pandemic.
Valentine’s Day takes on a new meaning?
Commissioned by Plenty of Fish and conducted by OnePoll, the study found that 67% of respondents believe Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a purely romantic holiday, as they’d rather share the day with their single friends than hang out. feel obligated to get a date.
43% of singles (50% of women and 36% of men) think Valentine’s Day should include all forms of love. Overall, 61% of respondents say they feel less romantic pressure this Valentine’s Day than in previous years.
When asked how they plan to celebrate this year, 26% of singles are looking forward to treating themselves to “essential personal care” and 19% plan to go on a date. Sixty-three percent of single Gen Z and Millennials think friendships and self-love should be celebrated just as much as romantic relationships. Three in five even admit they don’t celebrate their friendships as much as they should.
Those planning to spend Valentine’s Day with their friends plan to go out for a bite to eat or a drink (42%) or invite them to join in on their self-care party (36%).
“The pandemic continues to impact the way singles connect, and while dating is still a priority, singles are thirsty for a broader sense of community,” says dating expert Kate MacLean at Plenty of Fish, in a statement. “Singles are increasingly focused on building and maintaining friendships that stem from common interests and similar passions. Nurturing these friendships allows singles to go through the dating journey with a strong support system, relieving the pressure to find dates and making the experience more fun.
Not everyone is looking for love
Three-quarters of the poll (74%) think connecting with someone new who shares the same hobbies is time well spent – even if it doesn’t lead to anything romantic. Nearly seven in ten (69%) think dating apps are just as useful for finding friends with similar interests and hobbies as they are for finding a romantic partner.
Sixty-three percent of respondents agree that most relationships and friendships will be “entirely” online in the future.
“Having low-pressure online experiences brings a sense of community and fun back to dating, so singles can video chat, live stream and have virtual date nights,” adds MacLean. “After all, just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to go on your romantic journey alone.”
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