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?
Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. (2014, May 27). Jongeren vooral online met smartphone. Retrieved from https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/nieuws/2014/22/jongeren-vooral-online-met-smartphone
Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. (2014, June 18). Steeds vaker relatie via internet. Retrieved from https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/nieuws/2014/25/steeds-vaker-relatie-via-internet
Dating Insider. (2015, March 7). Gebruik van datingsites in de laatste vijf jaar verdubbeld (VS). Retrieved from http://www.datinginsider.nl/category/cijfers
Dating Insider. (2016, January 13). happn heeft 220.000 gebruikers in Nederland. Retrieved from http://www.datinginsider.nl/category/cijfers
NOS Jeugdjournaal. (2013, April 19). vrienden maken via internet. Retrieved from http://jeugdjournaal.nl/artikel/493436-vrienden-maken-via-internet.html