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GLOBAL – If you believe a text message is all you need to send to your loved one today, think again – and nip to the card shop while you still have time.

Nearly 60 per cent of Brits say they will send a text in addition to a card, with just 13 per cent saying that they will only send a text, according to a survey by communication expert Professor Nigel Linge at Salford University, in the north-west of England.

Just 34 per cent said that they would only send a card. But if choosing between a text and a traditional card, 82 per cent of women said they preferred a card.

Having said that, one woman said that she was proposed to — and accepted — via text message.

Professor Linge also reveals Valentine’s Day is the fourth most popular for texting in the UK after New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, and exam results days.

But, according to UK service provider Orange, nine out of 10 customers will send a Valentine’s text or sexy pic today.

And they reckon traditional tokens of admiration could be on the way out.
A spokeswoman for Orange said: “Getting a card from an admirer could soon be a thing of the past.

That’s the way things are heading in the US where, according to AT&T, 61 per cent of people prefer Valentine’s Day texting to cards.

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In some countries, mobile phones have been responsible for introducing Valentine’s Day celebrations. Conservative Muslims, from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, have strongly frowned on the holiday’s growing popularity as an encouragement of perceived Western decadence and premarital sex.

But after decades of war and dictator rule, and with improving security, Iraqis say they are able to relax and enjoy Valentine’s this year.

Mobile romance in Baghdad

Others believe the recent burst of text messages, mobile phones and use of the Internet among Iraqi youth has helped foster romance like never before.

But last year, Iran banned cards, gifts and other tokens of the day, which tradition says is named after one of several early Christian martyrs.

Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police launched patrols each year to stamp out any stores displaying too much red or selling heart-shaped products this time of year.

So far, however, Iraq appears to be drifting the way of other Middle East centers such as Dubai or Beirut that stock shelves high with chocolates, flowers and other trappings of the day.

Some Iraqis are using the day to proclaim that love conquers all – including studying.
Mobile phones, satellite TV and the Internet were virtually banned during Saddam’s regime, and the war and rampant violence after his ouster discouraged tech companies from marketing Iraq until the last few years.

“The new communication means help making relationships between the sexes faster than before,” said one trader in Baghdad. “I think I will sell all my Valentine’s Day products as the occasion is becoming more popular among Iraqis year after year.”

image credit: riptheskull