Valentine’s day in the modern world

St Valentine’s day caught our household by surprise this morning. My daughter, the only family member who shows even a flicker of interest, loves what we call “Balance-time day” because it comes with free license to generate and dispense cards. And nothing is as important as making and giving cards.

Rather than buy in to saccharine cards, over-priced bouquets and chock-full restaurants on a school night, the rest of the family like to bunker down and wait for the red, white and pink tide to subside. Fair to say, we’d rather submit to an hour-long concert by a community recorder ensemble, including improvisations and a piece the ensemble wrote themselves. Not that that is an option this year.

But I’ve been wondering: does the practice of secret admirers sending cards to one another exist anymore, outside the craft-intensive world of grade school? Particularly as I’m currently researching how the internet is changing the ways in which people meet and find one another for romance, sex, marriage or more transactional arrangements.

Last week’s column about the Facebook app Bang with Friends is now far and away the most read piece I have written for The Conversation. I’m sure that is because of the high-level conceptual discussion of how any new technology shifts the balance of power in the dating and mating game. Continue reading Valentine’s day in the modern world