The Internet can be a tool for education, shopping or finding the best restaurant in your neighborhood, and according to a recent study done by the Pew Research Center, the Internet can also help couples grow closer. The report, titled “Couples, the Internet and Social Media,” published Tuesday, Feb. 11, states that 27 percent of all couples online, married or in committed relationships said that the Internet had an effect on their relationship, positive or negative or both.

Among the respondent couples, 10 percent said the Internet has had a major effect on their relationship with their partner, while 17 percent stated that it has had only a minor effect. Of those respondents, 74 percent said that online activity had a positive effect, while 20 percent said their digital interactions were negative.  But the majority -- 72 percent -- of couples surveyed said that the Internet has had no effect on their relationship at all.

Positive technology experiences in relationships A graph showing the positive technological benefits to couples Photo: Courtesy Pew Research

It is no surprise, however, that younger adults report a greater connection to their partners because of the Internet, while older people do not. “45 percent of Internet users ages 18-29 in serious relationships say the Internet has had an impact on their relationship, while just one in 10 online adults 65 and older say the same,” the report says. Young adults not only connect with their partners online but also argue and settle their disputes with online tools.

The results are gleaned from the answers of more than 2,200 adults who took the survey. Research was conducted in a month’s time, spanning between April and May 2013. Princeton research associates called on land lines and cell phones, and questioned survey takers in both English and Spanish. The report can be found here.