Online dating is on the rise and so too are ‘ebabies’ – Canberra Weekly
How did your parents meet? In the past, familiar answers included: at work, the pub, university or through a friend or family member.
But in fewer than 20 years the most common answer will be ‘online’, according to the first Future of Dating report from Monash University and eharmony released this week (27 January).
Using a nationally representative survey of over 2,000 Australians and projections from current trends, researchers pinpoint 2038 as the year more babies – dubbed ‘ebabies’ – will be born to parents who met online than face-to-face.
By 2030, at least one in three Australian newborns will be ebabies, and already an estimated 20% of babies born in this millennium are the offspring of couples who met through the web.
Researchers say this is remarkable considering just a decade ago, stigma surrounding online dating meant few couples confessed to meeting on the internet – a way of socialising that only took off in earnest at the turn of the millennium.
The new report says the local pub was a popular place to search for romance in the early 1980s, when one in five couples met at the watering hole – these days just 6% do so.
Today, online dating is the most popular way for solo Australians to meet a significant other, with almost one-third (29.4%) of research participants reporting they met their partner online in the past five years.