CityPress - - Front Page - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­

For­get on­line dat­ing sites. Your Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram ac­counts are the new match­mak­ing plat­forms if you are one of the many lonely souls search­ing for love. Fans of Mzansi’s favourite re­al­ity TV show, Our Per­fect Wed­ding, prob­a­bly know this. A num­ber of cou­ples fea­tured on the show met on Face­book and have ended up ty­ing the knot.

But it is not just or­di­nary folk who hook up on so­cial me­dia.

Celebrities, too, have found prospec­tive part­ners on these dig­i­tal plat­forms.

Aus­tralia-born rap­per Iggy Aza­lea connected on Twit­ter with her now ex-fi­ancé, US bas­ket­ball star Nick Young. They tweeted each other a cou­ple of times in 2013 be­fore de­cid­ing to meet face to face.

They started dat­ing in early 2014 and got en­gaged in 2015. They called off the wed­ding the fol­low­ing year, af­ter a video show­ing Young ad­mit­ting that he had cheated on Aza­lea was leaked on­line.

Singer and ac­tress Naya Rivera and rap­per Big Sean also started fol­low­ing each other on Twit­ter. This pro­gressed to their hav­ing pri­vate chats on­line. They later made plans to go to din­ner. Soon af­ter, ro­mance blos­somed, cul­mi­nat­ing in an en­gage­ment. Un­for­tu­nately, they too never made it down the aisle.

These well-known per­son­al­i­ties may not have tied the knot, but re­search shows that so­cial­me­dia net­works are fast be­com­ing the ideal plat­forms to seek out and start ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships.

For ex­am­ple, a Univer­sity of Kansas study, re­leased three years ago, showed that a num­ber of US cou­ples who were mar­ried be­tween 2005 and 2012 had met through so­cial-me­dia net­works.

The study also found that these cou­ples were as likely to have suc­cess­ful mar­riages as cou­ples who met off­line.

The find­ings were in line with sev­eral pre­vi­ous aca­demic stud­ies, but there is no lo­cal re­search to back them up.

Vuyo Temba, a Jo­han­nes­burg-based clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, says it is not sur­pris­ing that the idea of peo­ple meet­ing on so­cial me­dia and form­ing ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships has gained mo­men­tum.

“We live in the dig­i­tal era, when peo­ple spend a lot of time on so­cial me­dia. This has re­duced the dis­tance be­tween peo­ple and also widened the pool of net­works con­nect­ing in­di­vid­u­als,” she says.

“A per­son can live on the other side of the world, but can still em­bark on a re­la­tion­ship. Other modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, such as Skype and FaceTime, fa­cil­i­tate this process.”

She adds, though, that it is not com­mon prac­tice for peo­ple to join so­cial me­dia with the in­ten­tion of find­ing love.

“Many start out as friends, and later dis­cover that they share com­mon in­ter­ests,” she says.

Two women, who spoke to City Press about find­ing love on so­cial me­dia from a pool of friends, at­test to this (see story, left).


LOVE ON THE LINE Ath­lete Nick Young and rap­per Iggy Aza­lea met and hooked up through so­cial me­dia

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