I am thankful that Susie and I were married at only 22 years old, though that came after something like eight years of friendship, so we’re a bit of an anomaly. It’s incredible how late young people, even the religious, are getting married.
My best friend and I are both 24 years old, career-driven, and single. We’re also both women who are set on marrying someone who shares our respective faiths — she’s Muslim, I’m Christian. We joke about our singleness a lot — every embarrassing picture, ridiculous dance move and dumb comment is attended by the sarcastic-but-obligatory, “Why am I still single?”
But to my friends who are “nones,” being in your mid-twenties and unmarried is normal, even preferred. Many are closing in on 30 and still in no rush to marry.They appear to be in good company.
According to the Pew Research Center, only 26 percent of Millennials, those born roughly between 1981 and 1996, are married. This is a decrease from previous generations: by the time they were in the current Millennial age range (18-33), 36 percent of Generation Xers, 48 percent of Baby Boomers, and 65 percent of the Silent Generation were married.
I’m not even a numbers nerd, and I absolutely love the FiveThirtyEight blog. I loved it when it was just Adam Silver at the New York Times, and I love it even more now at ESPN and the expanded format. Check out this fascinating article.
Opposites attract. That’s how the cliché goes, and people really believe they are attracted to those different from them: 86 percent say they want a partner who “complements them” rather than one who “resembles them.”
There’s only one problem with this idea: It’s false. I studied 1 million matches made by the online dating website eHarmony’s algorithm, which aims to pair people who will be attracted to one another and compatible over the long term; if the people agree, they can message each other to set up a meeting in real life. eHarmony’s data on its users contains 102 traits for each person — everything from how passionate and ambitious they claim to be to how much they say they drink, smoke and earn.
This was a fascinating article to me because of the nature of my Internet-based job and because of my extended use of the Internet since elementary and middle school. In the past, I have spent a significant amount of time on Reddit, and could see how enough time browsing around there would yield such results.
Internet use among adults was essentially at zero in 1990; 20 years later, it jumped to 80%, he said. In that same two-decade period, we saw a 25 million-person spike in those who are religiously unaffiliated.
People who use the Internet a few hours a week, GSS numbers showed Downey, were less likely to have a religious affiliation by about 2%. Those online more than seven hours a week were even more likely – an additional 3% more likely – to disaffiliate, he said.
Now, Downey is the first to point out that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.
But he was able to control for other factors including education, religious upbringing, rural/urban environments and income, to find a link that allowed him to “conclude, tentatively, that Internet use causes disaffiliation,” he said.