While many people say they are currently forgoing a night out on the townÂ for a quiet night in, perhaps they are spending it in front of a computerÂ trying to find their perfect match instead, at least thatâ€™s what the 2009Â NetGuide Telecom Broadband survey reveals.
More than 30 percent of New Zealanders surveyed knew someone who had met theirÂ current spouse online, although only nine percent admitted to having aÂ profile on an internet dating site.
One US-based dating website (match.com) has put a 22 percent increase inÂ registrations down to the recession and New Zealand seems to be followingÂ another US trend that sees 120,000 couples marrying every year afterÂ meeting online.
New Zealandâ€™s two most popular dating sites, NZ Dating and Findsomeone,Â now have around 1.5 million profiles listed between them.
Relationship expert and author, Dr Alice Boyes says that people who areÂ looking for love increasingly see having a profile on an internet datingÂ site as a logical and socially acceptable option.
For many being online allows a sense of freedom in communication, howeverÂ another survey result found 12 percent of respondents had pretended to beÂ someone else online.
â€œPeople justifiably have concerns about deception and safety. The paradoxÂ of online communication is that makes it easier to lie but also makesÂ people more comfortable expressing their genuine selves,â€ Dr Boyes says.
NZ Telecom and NetGuide carried out the survey about what New Zealanders doÂ online earlier this year. Questions ranged from asking if respondentsÂ sought medical advice online rather than visiting a doctor, to whetherÂ they have been a victim of an internet scam. Approximately 1,600 peopleÂ took part in the survey.