You've Got Mail

Johannesburg, 14 Feb 2011
Read time 2min 20sec

Valentine's Day falls on a dreary Monday this year, but that doesn't mean things won't get steamy, as many amorous South Africans will be spicing up their day at work with saucy e-mails to their other half.

This is according to a Microsoft Hotmail survey released today. Research polling done on MSN suggests many consumers are comfortable with expressing love and flirty feelings via e-mail.

The research, which polled more than 10 000 consumers in 14 countries, showed that approximately half (48%) exchange amorous e-mails with their significant others to keep their relationships fresh and exciting.

“More surprisingly, almost a fifth of respondents - or 19% - revealed they have told someone they love them for the first time in an e-mail and 9% have even proposed via e-mail,” the company states.

“It's interesting to note that whereas e-mail was regarded as a somewhat impersonal means of communication, compared to the phone or the hand-written letter, a great number of people are using e-mail to share profound and intimate feelings,” says Nazeer Suliman, consumer and online lead at Microsoft SA.

'E-romance' in the workplace

Kojo Baffoe, editor of Destiny Man says: “There is a shift in the perception that e-mail and social media are impersonal and, as that shift occurs, the more comfortable people are with sharing heartfelt messages of love and celebrating their union using these channels.

“With Valentine's Day falling on a Monday this year, e-mail networks around the world will be carrying a flurry of cupid's romantic declarations.”

For those who are single, the study reveals, 'e-romance' in the workplace this Monday is likely to be rife, with more than a fifth (21%) saying they've flirted via e-mail with co-workers.

Caught in the act

However, the company warns, people should make sure their excitement doesn't cloud their common sense this Valentine's Day, as 17% have used their work e-mail accounts to send romantic sentiments, and 8% have been caught sending love e-mails while on the job.

The study also shows that some consumers are also using e-mail to show passion: Eighteen percent of respondents indicated they exchange romantic or saucy images of one another and a fifth of people have shared romantic fantasies with their partner over e-mail.

A sizeable group of consumer respondents said they used e-mail to get up to mischief: almost half of respondents (47%) admit they have sent or received romantic or saucy e-mails to or from someone who is not their current partner and 16% of those surveyed have caught their partner sending sexy or saucy e-mails to someone else.

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