Media Release, 13 February 2012

Telstra’s latest State of the Nation Report1 reveals modern technology is transforming traditional dating rules, with half of all Australians aged 18 to 34 years considering it okay to ask someone on a first date via a social networking site.

However, Telstra’s research suggests many Aussies play ‘hard-to-get’ when it comes to technological courtship, with more than one-third admitting they delay adding a potential love interest to their social networks to seem ‘uninterested’, and one in five stalling on adding that special someone unless they make the initial request.

Telstra Consumer Marketing Director, Maryanne Tsiatsias, said Australia’s love affair with smartphones and easy access to social networking sites, means there are now so many more ways for young couples to interact than there were 10 years ago.

“Dating has changed dramatically since our parents were ‘going steady’ and the home phone was a dating lifeline.  Now, our research suggests timing is everything when it comes to navigating the complex world of 21st century dating.

“Nearly one-third of younger Australians say they’ll change their Facebook relationship status after just three dates, and they’re just as quick when the flame fizzles out with one in five almost instantly updating their status to single,” Maryanne said.

Telstra’s research also reveals that despite embracing new ways of connecting with potential suitors, almost half of all Gen Y still rate the traditional phone call their top pick for asking someone out.

“With more than 46 per cent of Australians owning an internet enabled smartphone2, it’s no surprise that social media is shaping the way we date in 2012. Nevertheless, it seems the anticipation of a personalised phone call is still a critical move in the modern dating game.”

Telstra’s State of the Nation report also found:

  • We can’t resist a good snoop: Once we’ve been added to a love interest’s Facebook friend list, we’re most likely to check-out their profile picture, review who’s been commenting on their wall, read through their status updates and go through photos they have been tagged in.
  • Mind your manners: When it comes to social media turn-offs, women are more likely to dismiss a potential partner because they took “too long” to respond to a Facebook message or wall post (43 per cent of women versus 32 per cent of men).
  • Men love to add: When it comes to adding a potential love interest to Facebook, men (22 per cent) are more likely than women (14 per cent) to not waste any time and be-friend immediately.
  • Keeping up appearances: When a relationship comes to an end, men (22 per cent) are more likely than women (13 per cent) to keep their ex as a friend, but first they change their security settings so their ex can’t see everything they’re now up to.

“When it comes to navigating the complex world of technological courtship, remember you sometimes can’t go past a simple phone call. Also, be ‘social sensitive’ – a picture, status update or check-in can say a thousand words, so always think before you post,” Ms Tsiatsias said.

The research also revealed Australia’s top Phone-mance personalities include:

  • Text Talker (37 per cent). You’re not sold on dating via social networking sites, but don’t want to chance an “awkward” phone call. You’ll typically send a text first and let digital dating progress from there.
  • Traditionalist (36 per cent). You always make an effort to call a potential love interest and will only go on a date with someone if they take the time to personally call you and ask you out.
  • Cyber Shyster (16 per cent). You’re open to connecting with a friend via social media, but prefer to keep your love life private.
  • Digital Dater (9 per cent). You use social networking sites like Facebook to keep an eye on friends who may be potential love interests. You’re also not afraid to “ditch” someone if you’re not impressed by something you see one their social networking sites.  
  • Happy Sharer (2 per cent). You will broadcast the ins and outs of your love life and not shy towards cyber sharing.  You’re happy to publicise and involve all your friends in the details of your dates.

1About the Research: This research was conducted online by Pure Profile on behalf of Telstra in January 2012 on a representative sample of 1250 Australians, aged 18-34, from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas.
2 Telstra Smartphone Index 2011: this research was conducted by Nielsen in July 2011 on behalf of Telstra on a representative sample of 2,827 Australians aged over 16 from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas.