The pandemic has for sure had an impact on how people use social media. A new survey shows that 28% of current or recent online dating users in the US have gone on a first date by phone or video call over the past year with someone they met on a dating site or app. However, only 8% say that they have been on a virtual date specifically due to concerns about the pandemic, the survey from the Pew Research Center shows. 9% of US adults have used a dating site or app in the past year.
Video dates have drawn mixed reviews from users. Still, some companies that run dating platforms are betting on the format becoming more integrated into the lives of daters in the future, the Pew says.
Pew says the pandemic has caused some Americans who use dating sites and apps to look for a new compatibility clue: Vaccination status.
47% say it has been at least somewhat important to them that the profiles they look at include someone’s COVID-19 vaccination status. This includes about a quarter (23%) who say it’s been very important to see this information.
“Still, views are divided on this topic: Some 53% of those who have used a dating site or app in the past year say it’s been not too or not at all important to see someone’s COVID-19 vaccination status.”
“Views on the importance of seeing someone’s COVID-19 vaccination status split sharply along partisan lines. Current or recent online dating users who are Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party are far more likely than their Republican and GOP-leaning counterparts to say someone’s vaccination status is important for them to see.”
“This mirrors partisan patterns in related Center research. Democrats are also more likely than Republicans to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to have received a booster. And among daters generally – not just those using dating sites or apps – Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they would only go out with someone who is vaccinated.”
Political affiliation itself is another piece of information that some online dating users consider important as they browse people’s profiles, according to the new survey.
About half of those who have used dating sites or apps over the past year (53%) say seeing political affiliation on profiles has been at least somewhat important to them, including 18% who say it has been very important. Another 47% say it’s been not too or not at all important to them.
“Views on this question also differ by party among these online dating users, with Democrats somewhat more likely than Republicans to say it’s important to see someone’s political affiliation on an online dating profile.”