I LUV U New Valentines Day Greetings

Love letters just aren't what they used to be. I doubt tomorrow's married woman will have a box full of yellowing love letters in a cardboard box in the attic. These memories will never be cherished be the long handwritten letter of a young man away at college for the first time or serving in the military. How can they be? Today's love letters are electronic. Today's love letters are short, probably no more than 160 characters long tops. Today's love letters are sent by text message.

I doubt there's much poetry involved either (now there's a definite improvement). While young adults have long committed their love and commitment throughout the generations via pen and paper, writing with a pen and paper is so yesterday. And, then there's the problem of finding an envelope and a stamp with the correct value on it.

In fact, recent studies show that only 5% of all written communication from 15 to 24-year-olds is done by pen and paper. The leader: text messaging followed by instant messaging and then email. Heck, even email is outdated today. Today's courting, like the rest of life, is done on the run.

The passion of yesterday's Valentine's Day love letters have morphed into text and instant message affection. Confessions once sealed in envelopes and sprinkled with perfume are now nothing more than a 37 character text message that will be cherished for.well until the recipient replaces his or her cell phone. And, the average American replaces his or her cell phone every 18 months.

The love letters of today will soon be gone forever. Unsaved emails disappear. Instant messages are gone almost immediately. Text message last until there is a newer, sexier, and sleeker Razor phone available.

The army is even aware of this problem. The army is asking loved ones back home to save and print out any emails or text messages from service people overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan for chance that the unthinkable happens and lovers and young children will not know how much they were loved. Of course, there are advantages to the electronic era. Young people in love are not going to carry around love letters in their purses or wallets. That would be really cheesey and there's always the possibility of these falling into the wrong hands. With a text message, however, they can check out their love letters whenever they are feeling down and need a lift, no matter where they are.

That's the real beauty of text messaging, isn't it? It's anytime, anywhere, anyplace. I guess love will survive after all.

Bob Bentz is owner of Spark Network Services--a 900 number and text message service bureau that provides text messaging solutions to radio stations, television shows, and newspapers. He is also a hopeless romantic who keeps up with the latest technology.

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