Saturday, February 4, 2012

Marriage becoming optional, study says

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos are beginning to see marriage as an option rather than a requirement, a study showed.

International marketing communications company JWT, in a report on trends in brands and products in the Philippines for 2012, said there is a "growing acceptance of happily single mothers or single by choice professional women in their workplaces" among low- to middle-income segments.

"They loathe to publicly declare it being in a predominantly Catholic country. But it has been a long accepted reality that... women have been thinking of deferring marriage to avoid a potentially emotionally traumatizing mistake. They turn to their professional development which is something more under their control," said the report, which is based on surveys and focus group discussions of Filipinos from lower- and middle-income classes.

It added that a growing number of married women in their 30s and 40s want to experience "a few days of singlehood" with their unmarried friends, leaving the kids at home with their fathers.

The report also cited 2004 figures from the National Statistics Office, which showed that the number of Filipino marriages are declining and more marriages are being annulled. The Philippines is the only country in Asia that does not acknowledge legal divorce.

"A growing segment of women is taking an alternate life route, one that does not include marriage as an essential checkpoint," it noted.

NSO's figures in 2008 showed thatmarriage is losing its luster for many in the Philippines, with more couples starting families out of wedlock. More than 37% of the 1.78 million babies born in the country had unmarried mothers, 12.5% higher than in the previous year.

A study from the University of Missouri-Colombia last year, meanwhile, revealed that young adults are slowing the road to marriage with "stayover relationships," where they can enjoy committed relationships without living together.

No 'Facebook fatigue' for longtime users: survey

WASHINGTON - So much for "Facebook fatigue."

A survey released on Friday shows that people who have used the social networking site over a long period - since its founding in 2004, say - show no sign that they have tired of posting pictures, updating weekend plans or just relaying random thoughts.

The Pew Research Center report, based on a US phone survey, logs and data from November 2010, sheds light on Facebook's possible long-term popularity as the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg heads for a $5 billion initial public offering.

Ahead of the IPO, one concern about Facebook has been that users will simply bore of it after a while, a phenomenon known as "Facebook fatigue." The Pew research suggests those worries may be unfounded.

The longer that people have used Facebook site, the more frequently they hit the "like" button, commented on friends' content, posted status updates and tagged their friends in photos, the report showed.

It also concluded that having more Facebook friends kept users more involved with the social networking site.

"The more Facebook friends users have, the more they perform every activity that we explored: friending, liking, private messages, commenting, posting, photo tagging, joining groups and poking," Pew said regarding the survey by its Internet & American Life project.

Facebook users on average can reach 156,569 other network users through friends of friends. The number is skewed by Facebook users with especially large friend lists, and the median is 31,170 people reached through friends of friends.

"This examination of people's activities in a very new realm affirms one of the oldest truths about the value of friendship," said Lee Rainie, head of Pew's Internet project. "Those who are socially active have a better shot at getting the help and emotional help they need."

The survey was based on a phone survey of 2,255 US adults that was conducted in November 2010. Respondents were asked to share logs of their Facebook activity, and about 269 respondents let Facebook release data on their use.

Facebook says it has 845 million active users today.