Online friendships decrease with an increase in geographic distance

The “big Dating” study, an analysis of major online dating platform revealed that people after searching for love on social media, end up in a relationship with their neighborhood girl or boy & that geographical distance was the main reason why reciprocal interactions take place within the U.S

Co-author of research, Mark Newman said: “A crucial aspect of the analysis is that we were looking not just at who sent messages to whom, but who sent messages and got a reply. In other words, at least one message went in both directions between two people. We did this because we felt that that was a more reliable indicator of mutual [romantic] interest.”

Burch, lead-author said: “Even though everyone’s on the same dating site, there’s a distinct clustering to who interacts with whom. It’s not surprising that the dating markets were geographically clustered.”

When the researches matched messages to the zip codes of the senders, they discovered that a few communities were within the boundaries of state while others fell into the nearby states. The newsman said: “It’s possible there’s a psychological barrier, where you feel like dating someone in another state is going too far.”

Researchers also discovered that age is the main factor defining the submarkets of men & women & the fact that two people in the same city may have a confrontation with diverse sex ratios. Bruch stated: “In Seattle, women in their 40s experience just a slight asymmetry in the number of single men and women, but in New York, the numbers are far more skewed. Based purely on sex ratios within submarkets: if I was a single guy in my 20s, I’d want to date in New York. But if I was a single woman in her 40s, I’d head straight to Seattle.”

Amongst the most important findings of the analysis was the degree to which race has an impact on the interactions occurring within submarkets.

Bruch said: “The patterns suggest that men and women in different American cities are strategizing about whom they message based on both race and age very differently. Dating markets are something we talk about all the time, but the way that we talk about them makes them out to be sort of an undifferentiated city-level phenomenon. What we’ve shown, in this analysis, is that that’s just not true.”