While the use of smartphones to communicate has become invaluable, there's a time and place for everything, especially when it concerns that iconic day of the year for sweethearts: Valentine's Day.
So to help you keep the romance in the day and the potential pitfalls out, here are some suggestions:
* DO text sweet nothings. Nothing can put a smile on your Valentine's face quicker than an unexpected, romantic text from out of the blue. A short text like "I LUV U" or "MISS U" can make your significant other suddenly happier to see you when you get home. But remember, don't over-abbreviate and stick with terms and symbols that most people know and use.
* DO share love notes. Rekindle memories of the 'old-fashioned' paper love notes once exchanged in school by sending your Valentine a love quote or saying through one of the free apps in your smartphone's app store, like Love Quotes and Sayings or Love Notes.
* DO take advantage of free apps to plan your romantic evening. Want to find the perfect bottle of wine, order flowers, buy chocolates or make dinner reservations quickly and on-the-go? There are lots of apps for that, and many are free! For example, 1800Flowers features a selection of best-selling flowers. Find Chocolate helps you locate the nearest chocolate shops, and OpenTable allows you to book a table at more than 20,000 restaurants, browse menus and search by cuisine, price or location.
* DON'T check your texts and emails at the table. You've gone to the trouble of planning a romatic dinner for your sweetheart, so why risk ruining it by checking your device for messages while at the dinner table? Give your Valentine the gift she likely values the most: your undivided attention.
* DON'T text it if it's better said face-to-face. Plan to pop the question on the most romantic day of the year? Think through your approach before you do. You know your Valentine better than anyone else. Would a face-to-face proposal have greater meaning for her or would she find a proposal via text more romantic? On the flip side, if something doesn't go as planned on the special day, avoid texting while frustrated or angry. Instead, pick up the phone to hash things out.