CYBER DATING IN NIGERIA: WHY NIGERIAN SINGLE LADIES USE ONLINE DATING PLATFORMS

Ifeoma V. Dunu, Ezinne C. Abaneme

Abstract


Online dating platforms are evolving cyber communication environments that has radicalised the traditional environment of meeting potential romantic partners and business partners. Online dating is an emerging area of discourse in the African scope; that calls for more inquiries in the how’s and why’s of this burgeoning new space. The dominant argument seems conflicting in relation to the perceived susceptibility to deception and other vices that seems prominent here. Yet in the African context within the context of conservative dominant dating traditions it seems to continue to blossom as an alternative and perhaps preferred ways especially among young people in search of a romantic partner.  It is based on this that we sought to examine why and how young females in Nigeria use online dating platforms, gratification gained from using it, and most dominant mode of communication. Using the survey method, we studied eight hundred and eighty nine (889) single women in the south Eastern part of Nigeria, within the age bracket of 18-40 years living in the state capitals of Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi. Two major Findings from the study resonate from literature. First, that majority of the respondents 66.4% are active users of online dating platform, who use it mostly on daily basis. Second, multiple response answer (MRA), findings show that the most gratified need desired by the respondents is emotional needs (36.4%). Literature has shown that users of online dating sites use the platform for socialization and meeting romantic partners. This study corroborates existing argument that suggests that despite some of its dysfunctional functions, anonymity, and a quick and easy access to dating tradition that breaks the barrier of physicality including age and technological advancements contributes to it continued success. This could be linked to the anecdotal evidence that some users have successfully dated and married partners that they met on online dating sites. This therefore aligns with literature that online dating is now an acceptable way for dating, as the African society have also keyed into this new trend. 


Keywords


cyber communication, cyber dating, online dating sites, single women, Nigeria

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