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Addicted to Email…?

Addicted to Email…?

I was pointed in the direction of an article recently (and apologies as I can’t remember the source) called “Think You Might Be Addicted to Email? You’re Not Alone” which states that 83% of users check email whilst on holiday.

The article says:

AOL, in partnership with Opinion Research Corporation, conducted online surveys with 4,025 respondents 13 and older in 20 cities around the country [The USA] to measure email usage. It showed that email use on portable devices has nearly doubled since 2004, and as a result, people are checking email around the clock. According to the survey, the average email user checks mail about five times a day, and 59% of those with portable devices are using them to check email every time a new message arrives. Forty-three percent of email users with portable devices say they keep the device nearby when they are sleeping to listen for incoming mail.

I haven’t checked the full results of the survey (as I’m lazy) but checking email 5 times a day doesn’t sound too addicted to me. Blimey, I must check a minimum of 20 times!

I’m not so sad that I listen out for beeps or whistles whilst I’m asleep (heck, I slept through a hurricane, you seriously think that my phone beeping’s going to wake me?) but to think that some people do is rather worrying.

I have to admit that I do check my personal email when I’m on holiday if I can, I also check it when I’m sat in the pub because I’m sad and have no one to talk to… er forget I said that! What I meant to say was that I like to keep up on certain things (that sounds better huh?)

Blackberrys have become quite pervasive in the workplace. Meetings are no longer listened to as people frantically tap away at their phone or PDA; the office is filled with ringing, chiming and the occasional wolf-whistle (must find out where they got that ring tone) and a train or bus ride home is filled with the sounds of “I’M ON THE TRAIN!”

Now that we can access and be accessed 24-7 it seems that it’s expected of us to reply as soon as a new bit of information comes in. But what does that say to our manager who emails us at 7pm (because managers always work late right Laugh) and we reply 5 minutes later when they know we’re out to an anniversary dinner with a partner?

Work-life balance is becoming more important to companies (finally) and being “always on” shows a lack of balance.

So, feel free to check your email 200 times a day at work but at home or on holiday, try to switch off – or is it too diffcult?

I’m going to try it for a week and see how I can cope!

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