NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Rather than looking for their perfect match, one in four Americans say the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
A survey on the role the Internet plays in people's lives by Zogby International and communications consultancy 463 Communications found that 24 percent of Americans said the Internet could replace a partner for some period of time.
The percentage was highest among singles of whom 31 percent said the Internet could be a substitute -- with no difference among males and females.
The researchers said the online survey of 9,743 adults conducted between Oct 4-8 showed that some younger people viewed the Internet as their new best friend.
For while more than one in four Americans has a social networking profile such as MySpace or Facebook, among 18-24 year-olds this is almost mandatory with 78 percent of them having a social networking profile.
Breaking it down by political beliefs, the study found more Democrats have a social networking presence than Republicans -- at 32 percent to 22 percent.
But although American may love the Internet, most are not prepared to implant it into their brain -- even if it was safe, the researchers said.
Only 11 percent of respondents said they would be willing to safely implant a device that let them use their mind to access the Internet although one in five would insert a chip into a child 13 years old or younger to help track them.