05/16/2013 08:24 EDT | Updated 07/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Improve Your Text Life! A Guide To Dating in a Mobile World

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A group of young business people standing on a window talking and looking at their mobile devices. Backlit shot.

The world of dating, just like everything in our social lives, has become almost completely dependent on smartphones. When's the last time you heard someone gush about a handwritten love note or that infamous first phone call (not first text)? Can you even remember the last time you cold-called someone to ask them on a date?

Texting has completely revolutionized the way people, especially young people, communicate. Recently, Virgin Mobile Canada partnered with Leger Marketing to find out the mobile dating habits of today's youth. Based on the results, it's changed as much as Taylor Swift's boyfriends.

Facebook and texting are the new dating must-haves! Our survey showed that one quarter of Canadians use Facebook to make the first move. Even after a great first date, almost half of Canadians will text their love interest instead of calling them. In fact, 45 per cent of Canadians said texting makes them braver and 41 per cent said it made them flirtier.

With most of our memorable dating moments now being shared instantly, it's important to know how to put your best text forward. Here are a few tips to make sure your texting is up-to-snuff:

1. Watch your speling! Our survey found the number one texting turnoff is bad spelling or grammar --

Autocorrect was made for a reason, friends, use it or lose it.

2. Tone down the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!! You're excited about your date, but play it cool. One fifth of Canadians say exclamation marks are a major texting no-no.

3. Let your personality shine. There's nothing worse than a lackluster convo, especially if you're chatting up someone new so be yourself -- but maybe keep the "Bieber's #1 fan" confessions to yourself.

4. Don't play the responding game! Our survey showed that women in particular hate to wait for a response to a text. Half of ladies surveyed shared that a slow response time will get you nowhere but dumpsville.

I read an article in Canadian Business recently that talked about how quickly online dating has gone mobile. For example, in less than two years, popular online dating site PlentyofFish went from only 3% of visits to the site coming through smartphones to 60% today. Dating site developers are responding to this demand for mobile with location-based dating apps. With "Geo-dating" singles use their smartphone's GPS to help them find love real local, sometimes even in the same building. Singles can now almost completely avoid blind dates, clubs and bars all together -- that is, if they want to.

Here are some great mobile apps for all the single ladies and gents looking to find love or perhaps just a summer fling:

Tinder: How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice, just like this app which finds out who likes you nearby based on your profile photo and Facebook account. It's great for singles looking to mingle, yet not wanting to commit to a full-on profile-based dating site.

PlentyofFish: There's plenty of fish in the sea and POF can find the one for you. Create your own free dating profile and start flirting with local singles near you with this handy dating app.

Ok Cupid: This is a fun and free social networking app that connects your dating profile to potential perfect matches nearby. Chat with local singles or broadcast a flirty message to all; the app's dating algorithm makes it easier for singles to be paired with someone who meets their must-have dating criteria.

Grindr: Dating is for all types of couples but this one's just for the men. This geo-dating app pinpoints a selection of available male profiles based on their current location to you.

Whether it's sultry or sweet, a good text life is crucial for daters. Today, people are agonizing over what to type, not what to say. In fact, the act of dating is changing as more and more people rely on their smartphone to help them seal the deal. It seems many Canadians are just more comfortable making those first few moves with the right text.


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