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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 11:18 GMT
Valentine's Day: Has electronic love taken over?
The traditional wait for the postman is likely to be supplanted by the bleep of the mobile phone this St Valentine's Day.
Text messaging and e-cards have taken over from 'snail mail' as the preferred method of sending romantic greetings to somebody else.
Virgin Mobile predicts that 80 million Valentine's Day text messages will be sent on February 14 this year, compared to the expected 12 million cards sent by traditional snail mail.
Has electronic love taken over? Would you prefer a text message or something more traditional?
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The only thing about sending electronic valentines is that it is very hard to do anonymously. I'm sure there are people out there who can do it but I'm not one of them, and would probably get sacked if I tried anyway! I suppose you could set up a special account for the purpose though, and the recipient would have a means to get in touch which could be fun...
Just as long as it doesn't say, "I know where you live..." written in letters cut out of a newspaper, I'll enjoy messages from the fairer sex in any format...
This has nothing to do with love. We've turned into a nation of text maniacs.
So has Will Faulkner's girlfriend forgiven him, or dumped him? Hopefully the former - good luck Will.
Even better - my girlfriend hasn't got a clue!
Isn't technology a wonderful thing...?
Will Faulkner, UK
Hmmm Mr Will Faulkner - let's hope your girlfriend doesn't read BBC Online...
Thank you Will Faulkner for confessing..... I always thought it was you.
In response to Will Faulkner's comments - please let it be known that I have emailed this site's link to Will's girlfriend. She will hopefully see his comments and dump him. Don't think I am bitter, Will is a work colleague of mine and I am fed up with his comments about my acne - which incidentally has led to me receiving NO cards, be they electronic or paper-based.
Will Faulkner, UK - she does now!
Instead of email, why not send Valentine's Day missives by way of Talking Point?
To all the wonderful, funny, sexy ladies out there - Happy Valentine's Day to you and may you find your knight in shining armour!
The electronic thing is definitely not taking over. How can a machine or robot possibly overtake the human touch? It's like a woman saying they would rather have an affair with Robocop than Tom Cruise.
This day is of special importance to my girlfriend and me because it is the day that we first spoke to one another after having an on-line relationship for a couple of months beforehand. A year on, we are still together and we are moving into our first new home next week! Who says love and romance are dead?
I once sent an electronic Valentine - it took me ages to design and draw and I made sure she received it exactly at the right moment - when she sat down to the rose on her desk. She was ecstatic, more for the work I'd obviously put into it than the rose - after all you can buy a rose in any pub at the weekend for £2.
It's brilliant sending e-Valentines. If it wasn't for my email love letters I wouldnt be able to sustain my several adulterous relationships.
God bless the internet!
a) Valentine's Day (like Secretaries' Day, Postmen's Day, Christmas and you name it) is nothing but an invention to force people to spend money they either do not want to spend or don't have - but since it's expected of them, they'll do it. If I love somebody, I love that person every day and should say so every day as well, not only on 14 February.
b) Since most people seem to have difficulties to spell words with more than 4 letters in them, something like "WUBMV?" or "LMBTV4Y" is a typical reflection of the degenerate world we live in.
Jurgen W Schulze, US
I wouldn't dream of sending a card to someone in the office because of handwriting being picked up on. Thanks to the electronic age, I was able to discreetly and anonymously send an e-card to the object of my admiration and I'm certain it will make her day.
Giles Hogben, Italy
I love my wife and daughter and I tell them every day. Sorry Telco's, card companies and florists, but your help is not needed.
I am so glad that I didn't get a text message from my husband. A card this morning and then a dozen red roses delivered at work. A text message or email wouldn't have made me feel half as special.
You are all so negative! A day that celebrates love can surely only be a good thing?
It's a great way to make friends - send a Valentine by post and it'll arrive sometime in June at a random address bearing no resemblance to that on the envelope!
Gareth Thornton, UK
Although I abhor all things corporate and "token" holidays such as Easter, I do enjoy Valentine's Day and the ability to use modern technology in a friendly way, whilst still retaining the personal touch with snail mail, doesn't half help to me and my fiancée who are 12,000 miles apart. Congratulations to mobile phones and the Internet. And to Valentines Day.
David L-J, Isle of Man, UK
Every disparaging comment I have read so far, about what a waste of time Valentine's Day is, has been written by a bloke. They just don't get it, do they!
I love Valentine's Day and look forward to it every single year. I go out with my partner and her children for a bite to eat and the cinema - to see a film of MY choice. What more could a man ask for?
I think it is a better idea to use technology as it means people are no longer giving money to card companies for what is essentially a day made up by card companies to sell more cards.
I did the right thing and bought my wife a beautiful card and present and we are off for a romantic meal tonight. I hope that puts you e-card senders to shame.
Paul Robert, UK
I sent my wife an e-card and ordered her the Sopranos box set from the internet as a gift. I am such a romantic!
Doesn't bother me - not getting any electronic Valentines is pretty much the same as not getting any traditional Valentines!
Tele-Love must be doing wonders for the telecoms companies coffers!
Receiving a card is definitely more romantic. Text messages take a couple of minutes to do, can be done with little thought and are really the lazy option. A card is more personal as the sender has taken time to choose it. However, I'm not adverse to receiving both!
I don't think it has taken over. There is no substitute for the traditional gestures. My boyfriend is one of the biggest technology users I know and he has still spent the time and effort in planning a romantic meal for us tonight.
Valentine's Day is for losers! Come on people - wake up! Can't you see the various companies/shops/restaurants all lining up to fleece us (men, usually) under the veil of "Valentine's Day"?
Phil Bray, UK
A rather obscure festival gets peddled all over the world, marketed aggressively by Western companies in developing countries, and lo and behold, Valentine's Day becomes a universal way of co-modifying love. As such, why not send messages in the latest of globally marketed technologies of 'love'- as long as we don't pretend that this is about some sort of authenticity of effect.
I used both routes - my beloved will be at work by the time Consignia gets round to delivering anything so it's a text in the morning and hopefully a card in the evening.
If you can imagine the impact (or lack thereof) of a Valentine's card arriving on Feb 15th, then you should have a good idea why we are moving away from sending by the aptly named "snail mail".
a) be capable of love, and
b) be worthy of being loved? They're already in love with their mobile and their pager and their modem. Let them carry on by themselves and leave REAL love to the rest of us who actually know how to speak and how to write.
Andy H, UK
Personally I'd prefer a card - it's far too easy to send an electronic greeting. However, the price of Valentine cards are ridiculous - upwards of £3 for a bit of cardboard folded in half with a simple drawing on the front! No wonder these card shops are cropping up everywhere, it's a license to print money!
Valentine's Day used to be an exclusive scam for florists, card makers, and condom manufacturers. Why shouldn't the mobile phone companies exploit it too? More fool the rest of you for being taken in by it!
I'm sorry Phil, UK but I am taken in by it. Taken in by love. Taken in by any excuse to celebrate. Taken in by any reason to shower my partner with affection and gifts.
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