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Of the final 346 posts chosen to be included in the study, the average age of online users sharing information about their online relationship(s) was 14 years old.
The overwhelming result was that children and youth consider their online relationships to be just as "real" as their offline relationships.
Some of these ways of communicating online are asynchronous (meaning not in real time), such as You Tube and some are synchronous (immediate communication), such as Twitter.
Synchronous communication occurs when two or more participants are interacting in real time via voice or text chat.
Online relationships are similar in many ways to pen pal relationships.
This relationship can be romantic, platonic, or even based on business affairs.
Dating sites "are a place where sexual minorities, inter-sexed people and gay people are enjoying a newly found freedom".
Substantially fewer reported using the Internet for the specific purposes of identifying potential sexual or marital partners." However, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 looked at about 19,000 married people and those who met their spouse online said their marriage was more satisfying than those who met their spouse offline.
Rather than having many devices for different uses and ways of interacting, communicating online is more accessible and cheaper by having an Internet function built into one device, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
Other ways of communicating online with these devices are via services and applications such as Email, Skype, i Chat, instant messaging programs, social networking services, asynchronous discussion groups, online games, virtual worlds and the World Wide Web.
The inclusion of videos and pictures has become almost a necessity for sexual social networking sites to maintain the loyalty of their members.
Changes that online dating companies have created include not only the increase of pickiness in singles, but the rise in interracial marriages and spread the acceptance of homosexual individuals.
Plus, marriages that began online were less likely to end in separation or divorce.