Tap into technology for outstanding Valentine's Day
by Denise Sperle
Feb 06, 2013 | 1138 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Whether you take a traditional approach to expressing your love on Valentine’s Day, such as a gift of chocolates and flowers, or want to add a bit of gadgetry spice, consider tapping the power of technology to spoil your sweetheart and celebrate the day dedicated to romance.

Your nearby Web browser offers creative solutions to finding the perfect token of affection.

Many people honor the old axiom that a romantic dinner is the key to their valentine’s heart, and numerous recipe-focused websites offer tempting options.

A range of Valentine’s Day-themed meals are featured at www.allrecipes.com, including tips on preparing the surf-and-turf favorite of lobster and filet mignon. For a family-friendly celebration, try a recipe for heart-shaped pizza.

If your celebration includes an exchange of gifts, a wealth of ideas is available at online shopping sites. The latest smartphone or tablet might make an ideal gift for a technology-driven sweetheart.

Big-box stores, such as Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com), display their product choices for easy cyber-shopping, with purchases available for direct shipping or in-store pickup.

Crutchfield (www.crutchfield.com) is another great option for gadget shopping, with a helpful twist for consumers: Site visitors enjoy free access to experts with specialized product knowledge, via either phone or online chat, to help with orders.

Even traditional ways of saying “I love you” are made easier using online resources. Select a perfect bouquet of flowers in one of many cyber-florist shops, such as www.1800flowers.com, www.ftd.com or www.teleflora.com, which work with local florists nationwide to make the process simple and easy.

Many individual shops also have websites that allow customers to make floral choices via a laptop, tablet or smartphone. And in the spirit of diversification, many of the same sites sell candy, cards and other gift items that make a perfect complement to your floral selection.

Some couples simply choose to spend a quiet evening curled up together watching a favorite movie. Technology has made this choice easier, too, with one-stop destination entertainment sites, such as TumTiki (www.tumtiki.com), offering a vast array of options for online movie viewers. This site has a roster of more than 1 million movies, TV shows and Web originals online. Popular movie titles range from Hollywood classics to today’s latest romantic comedies.

Technology shines even for sweethearts separated by business travel, military service or other circumstances. Any computer with a webcam can use Skype (www.skype.com), a free user-friendly videoconferencing service that bridges the miles with a video connection that’s the next best thing to an in-person Valentine’s Day experience.

Technology is helping us share the valentine spirit in convenient and creative ways.

With a computer or mobile device and a high-speed Internet connection, showing your love to a special someone has never been easier.

n Denise Sperle, a volunteer columnist for the Irrigator, is the Central Valley general manager for Frontier Communications. She welcomes questions about technology and Internet safety at denise.sperle@frontiercorp.com or www.frontier.com.

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