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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 12, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

    And the Valentine’s Day surveys start…

    Ciara O'Brien

    We’re a nation of cheapskates, according to a new Microsoft survey. Cheapskates and socially inept.


    This probably doesn’t come as news to most people, but the survey is a little more official than a straw poll of your friends down the local on Saturday night.

    Apparently, not only are Irish people likely to spend an average of €16 on Valentine’s Day – less than any other European nation – we’re also more likely to hide behind avatars and icons when trying to hook up.

    Seven out of ten Irish people who took part in the study said it was easier to flirt by instant messenger than face to face. Presumably this is so you can really make people believe that you are six foot, work out and know your Armani from your Prada, when in reality you’re closer to five foot four, are better aquainted with a beer keg than a six pack, and have trouble distinguishing between Dunnes and Pennys.

    This isn’t just an Irish thing though, with 66 per cent of Europeans admitting faceless flirting works better for them. (Until, of course, they find out that the blonde dancer they thought they were emailing turns out be called Dave.)

    And that’s not all. Ten per cent of people are blaming financial pressures for splitting with a partner, while 18 per cent told Microsoft that the credit crunch will affect Valentine celebrations this year.

    We all know it’s a ‘Hallmark holiday’, hyped up by the card companies, etc etc. But that €16 has nothing to do with the current economic downturn – because that’s all we spent last year too. So there’ll be plenty of couples queueing at the local drive-through McDonalds, if that’s anything to go by.

    Irish Times link

    Nothing says “I love you” like an e-card and <3 in an instant message*.

    *LIE.

    UPDATE: Apparently, the average spend in Denmark is €109. I’m moving there.