Trend: Meeting new people through the internet

Next week Anne is going to meet up with Christy, one of her best friends. They met through the internet. Anne lives in the Netherlands, but Christy lives in the United Kingdom. They met each other through Couchsurfing. It’s a website where you can host people from other countries. Christy stayed at Anne’s place for three days and they become very good friends.  Next week It’s Anne’s turn to visit the UK.  There are lots of stories equal to the story of Anne and Christy. There are different website where you can meet friends from all over the world.

Making new friends is way different then making new friends 20 years ago. Nowadays it’s very easy to meet new people by the internet. You have dating sites and dating applications, but if you just want to make new friends, you can use the internet as well.  Twenty years ago the internet was mainly used for e-mail and for information platforms like Wikipedia. Nowadays social media is very popular. In 2013, NOS Jeugdjournaal found that 25% of the people think that the internet is a good way for making friends and that 75% says that it isn’t.
One of the main reasons why it’s more and more popular to meet people through the internet is that more people have more access to the internet. In 2014, Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek found that 90% of the people with the age of 18 till 25 are online with their smartphone.  With the 12 till 18 year olds it’s three-quarter and with the people who are 25 years or older it’s 63%.
The numbers don’t lie. More and More people have access to the internet, and almost everybody from the youth have a smartphone with internet access.
Because the technology of the internet grows really fast, making friends through the internet was never as easy as nowadays. These days, we can chat at all times, sent pictures and voice message to each other, we can even skype and talk to each other like in real life.

Because it’s so easy, internet dating is also very popular. Internet dating is easy and you meet new people in  fast way. Tinder was very popular and because off Tinder there became more and more dating apps. Dating Insider (2016) found in a recent study that nowadays Happn is one of the most growing and popular dating apps. Happn has only in the Netherlands 220,000 users. The half of those users is ones a month active.
In 2015, Dating Insider found that, according to GFK, the number of user from dating sites doubled in the United States in the past five years. The biggest group was the 25 – 34 years old with 27.7%, after that the group 18 – 24 years old with 21.6% and after that the group 45 – 54 years old with 18.3%. The last group was the group of 55 till 64 years old with 10.6%.

Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (2014) found in a recent study that the couples that went living together in the past five years, 13% met each other through the internet. Between 1998 and 2003 the number was 2%. Five years later it was 10% and from 2008 till 2013 it was 13%. About 50% of these people met through dating sites.

You can see that meeting people through the internet is a growing trend. Now you probably want to know: Why is it a trend? You can see that over the past years, meeting people through the internet became very popular. And it’s growing. People do it more often. Because we’re always busy, people don’t have time to meet new people outside and the internet is a very good solution to that problem.
At the moment meeting people through the internet is a maxi trend in the mega trend digitalization, because nowadays it’s beginning to get normal and more socially accepted.  There is a possibility that maybe one day it’s going to be a mega trend, but at the moment it’s in the early stage.  It’s happening because the internet is faster (and it only gets faster) and social media came around. You can easily share thing and make meeting people more trustworthy.  Social media came around ten years ago and the need for social media is still growing. The trend meeting new people through internet is a small branch from the trend social media. I you look at the numbers more people are willing to meet up with people they have met through the internet, so it’s still a growing trend. And because it’s getting more normal by day, you see that it is in the beginning of a very big trend.

Do you think meeting up with people through the internet is a good way to meet new people?  Or did you already meet up with people you met online?

Lara Uittenhout









Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. (2014, May 27). Jongeren vooral online met smartphone. Retrieved from

Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. (2014, June 18). Steeds vaker relatie via internet. Retrieved from

Dating Insider. (2015, March 7). Gebruik van datingsites in de laatste vijf jaar verdubbeld (VS). Retrieved from

Dating Insider. (2016, January 13). happn heeft 220.000 gebruikers in Nederland. Retrieved from

NOS Jeugdjournaal. (2013, April 19). vrienden maken via internet. Retrieved from


5 thoughts on “Trend: Meeting new people through the internet

  1. Interesting topic and you adressed all the topics I asked for. There are some things you need to be aware of. A mesotrend will never become a megatrend. It is a different kind of trend. A mesotrend is based on a consumer need (so indeed e.g. meeting people via social media). A megatrend is a societal isssue that has a lot of infuence on the way our society works. Also the fact that it is becoming more popular says something about the phase in the life cycle, it does not proof that it is a trend. There are also trends that are further in the lifecycle and therefore on the way down. This is still a trend. The proof it is a trend lies in the fact that it leaves traces in society. Your use of sources and your final question are okay.


  2. I like the way your write, it’s nice to read. The example how you start your article is also good to read.
    Maybe you can also make your sources in English. I like your question, but it’s also nice if you answer it by yourself.
    I never do online dating or making friends; I only use the Internet for Skype to talk to my friends. So I don’t know at all what the brand is. I hear in my surroundings well a lot of good experiences. In The Netherlands there are nowadays already more than eighty dating websites. And it’s indeed a good fact that much people in this world are busy. They don’t have a lot of time to looking around for their perfect match. (Whichonlinedatingsite, 2015)
    So my opinion is that online dating a good way is in this world to find a new love. But there are also bad things at this trend. So are there on every website people who don’t tell who they really are. So every time when you do online dating or making friends, you have to pay attention with which people you are dealing. But if you watch out every time, than I think it’s a good way to make friends or maybe to meet the love of your life. Anyway it’s saves a lot of time to find the good persons.
    Whichonlinedatingsite, (2015) Find a new love. Retrieved 15 September 2016 from


  3. -Peter Engelshove-

    I think that meeting people through the internet is risky. A lot of people are searching for a date or friendship on the internet, because they are lonely. Scammers, people who are willing to swindle, are actually looking for these lonely people. These scammers will slowly gain your trust, till they are ready to strike (Storm, 2016). In the television series ‘Catfish’ the two television makers Henry Joost en Ariel Schulman are searching for potential scammers. Nev, a scammed girl, is telling her experience in an interview. “Obviously, I think the number one thing to remember is that you don’t know someone as well as you think until you spend time with them” (Moeslijn, 2012). I totally agree with that statement.

    Storm, L. (2016). Dangers of Meeting People Online. Retrieved 15 September, 2016, from

    Moeslijn, A. (2012). Online Dating Advice (And How to Spot Liar) From Catfish: The TV Show Stars New Schulman and Max Joseph. Retrieved 15 September, 2016, from


  4. Datings sites are for insecure people, I think. Why do you have to date online, if you can meet all kinds of people outside in real life? Do you like theater? Go and meet people with the same interest. Because of all the digital communication, the generation of today doesn’t even know how to date in “real-life”. That’s sad!! Whether you do consciously or unconsciously, the act of people on the Internet is quite different than they are in real life. I call it FAKE!
    Humor, eye contact and body language will automatically processed at personal contact, but not observed during the rapid conversations online.


  5. Meeting up through the internet is not wrong according my opinion. Social media is one of the biggest trends now a days and as result of that people talk and eventually meet over the internet. You also have like a lot of application who stimulate to find new people. Dating apps like Tinder, Hot or Not as example. Those applications show you all the men or woman who also have the app and finally makes matches with it. It is also a great opportunity to talk to people you barly know but would like to have contact with.
    Meeting up is not a problem at all, it still will be your own choice to go eventually. I would never do it because you do not know who or how the other person will be. Hinge is therefor a great application. Highe only match you with your extended social network, this are friends of friends. You can tell what you like or your hobbies and the application shows you with around a dozen matches a day for you to swipe. This would be an application I consider to use. Would you like to try this or do you think it is still a bit scary to meet people you do not know?

    Lauren van Sambeek 1659140


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