The future of dating is changing and it is expected to trigger a surprising trend among new parents and newborns.
Children born to parents who met online will be the majority within the next 18 years.
With the future of dating shifting online, researchers are predicting a rapid rise in “ebabies” – infants born to parents who met via dating sites.
Within the next decade, 34 per cent of newborns will be considered ebabies, and more Australians are expected to meet online by 2040 rather than through more traditional means.
The days of meeting a potential partner at the local bar or pub are also gone, with 29.4 per cent of Australians saying online dating is their go-to when looking for a relationship.
Just 6.3 per cent opt for the former compared with one in five during the 1980s.
Other popular methods include meeting a partner via mutual friends (17.1 per cent) or at work (15.9 per cent).
Monash University academics and eHarmony found 48 per cent of people believed the online world made it easier to meet someone.
Relationship expert at eHarmony Sharon Draper said online dating often got a bad rap, but the Monash University report helped debunk the myth that it was only good for swipe culture and casual dating.
“There are countless people who look to technology to find lifelong partners and start families,” she said.
“Online dating is ever more prevalent, particularly since the challenges we’ve seen recently via the COVID-19 virus and its restraints upon normal socialising.”
Researchers at the university looked at a combination of statistical modelling and nationally representative research data to determine the year in which more couples will meet online rather than offline.
“We also identified alternative ways that tailored matching between two parties online may change in the future,” Yelena Tsarenko, a professor at Monash School of Business, said.
The report also found couples who met online between 2014 and 2020 had 2.3 per cent more babies on average in comparison to couples who met face-to-face.
Sixty-nine per cent of Australians believe online dating has become more normalised, and more than half (51 per cent) said the internet had helped introverts find a partner.