Reconfiguring Relationships: Technologies of Choice

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Presentation for Symposium on 'Relationships and the Internet', Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 9 December 2011.

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Reconfiguring Relationships: Technologies of Choice

  1. 1. Reconfiguring Relationships: Technologies of Choice William Dutton, Joshua Melville, and Bernie Hogan Me, My Spouse, and the Internet Project Oxford Internet Institute, University of OxfordPresentation for Symposium on ‘Relationships and the Internet’, OxfordInternet Institute, University of Oxford, 9 December 2011.
  2. 2. Reconfiguring Access
  3. 3. Oxford Internet Surveys• 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011• Cross-sectional Surveys versus Panels• Multi-Stage Probability Sample• England, Scotland & Wales• Respondents: 14 years and older• Face-to-face Interviews, High Response Rates• Sponsorship for 2011 from the Nominet Trust, British Library, Ofcom, O2, and ITV.com• Component of World Internet Project (WIP)
  4. 4. Meeting New People Online, 2005-2011
  5. 5. Me, My Spouse, and the Internet Supported by eHarmony (2008 - 2011) eHarmony Labs in developing and adapting indicators  OII examining the role of the Internet in relationships Phase I (July 2008 - February 2009)  Four nation online survey research (Australia, Spain, UK and USA) Phase II (March 2009 – March 2010)  Pretest of Key Items: 16 countries in12 languages across Europe and Asia  Wave 1 (Mar - May 2010): Pan-European survey –16 countries in 9 languages  Wave 2 (June - July 2010): Survey in Brazil and Japan  Wave 3 (Nov 2010 - Feb 2011): 12 countries (East Europe & Asia) Phase III (March 2011 – March 2012)  Final Waves: totalling 21 countries and focusing on analysis
  6. 6. Me, My Spouse and the Internet Study◘ Attraction and selection  Where do we meet?  Do we meet different people online? Reconfiguring relationships?◘ Maintaining relationships  Which tools do we use to communicate? For better or worse?  What do we communicate about on the internet?◘ Netiquette:  Which expectations do we have about online behaviour (of our partners)  What do we consider acceptable behaviour?
  7. 7. Research Method : Online Surveys Online survey : sample recruited by Toluna (Online Access Panel Company) Survey development and analysis: collaboration of OII and eHarmony Labs 21 countries, approaching 24,000 respondents, 12,000 couplesTeam:Bernie Hogan, Grant Blank, Bill Dutton, Joshua Melville, Oxford Internet InstituteNai Li, Ellen Helsper, formerly at the Oxford Internet InstituteeHarmony LabsProfessor Monica Whitty, University of LeicesterParticipants in a series of symposia at the OII
  8. 8. Respondents of Online Surveys to 2011
  9. 9. Percent Who Have Met Someone Online that They Then Met Offline
  10. 10. Use of the Internet in Meeting Partner(s)
  11. 11. Percent of Relationships that Began Online, by Year
  12. 12. Percent of Cohabiting Relationships that Began Online (10 Year Age Bins)
  13. 13. Reconfiguring Access
  14. 14. How might the Internet reconfigure relationships?•Specific – no general bias in introducing couples• Systematically Biased: • Greater Variety from a Larger Pool* • Greater Similarity: Echo Chamber*Dutton, W. H., Helsper, E. J., Whitty, M. T., Li, N., Buckwalter, J. G.,and Lee, E. (2009), ‘The Role of the Internet in ReconfiguringMarriages: a Cross-national Study’, Interpersona: An InternationalJournal on Personal Relationships, 2(2), December: 3-18.
  15. 15. Personalities: Big Five Concepts
  16. 16. N = 23,864 individuals
  17. 17. How might the Internet reconfigure relationships?•Specific – no general bias in introducing couples• Systematically Biased: • Greater Variety from a Larger Pool* • Greater Similarity: Echo Chamber*Dutton, W. H., Helsper, E. J., Whitty, M. T., Li, N., Buckwalter, J. G.,and Lee, E. (2009), ‘The Role of the Internet in ReconfiguringMarriages: a Cross-national Study’, Interpersona: An InternationalJournal on Personal Relationships, 2(2), December: 3-18.

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