Addicted to Email

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Tom Keating
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Addicted to Email

Are you addicted to email? Let me rephrase. R U addicted to email? True email addicts use shortcuts both in IM and email to reach maximum efficiency when typing emails. The faster you can type your emails, the faster you can receive more emails and the cycle repeats! I was emailed an interesting survey from AOL that talks about email addiction that I thought I'd share. Another sign of email addiction not listed in the email below is when your Blackberry fails and you wait exactly 22 seconds before calling your IT Department to check the Blackberry server. (Yes, Rich that was directed at you! )

We have completed a nationwide survey of email behavior and found that people are beyond addicted -- they can't live without their 2.8 (average) email accounts and check their mail constantly.

Please see the national press release below. We also have an information resource and a little quiz to help users find out how addicted they are on that will appear later this morning.

Please let me know if you would also like:

1.) A summary of the most relevant national findings organized by theme.
2.) Tips for how to get control that you are welcome to share.
3.) Highlights from the top ten "addicted" cities.
4.) Infographics on topline findings if you need artwork (Jpeg or EPS).

Please let me know if you have any questions.


For Immediate Release


AOL Survey Reveals the Average E-mail User Checks E-mail Nearly Five Times a Day Morning, Noon and Night, Even While Driving

Miami, San Francisco and Philadelphia Top the List of Cities That Can't Live Without E-Mail

DULLES, VA - May 26, 2005 Are we a nation obsessed with e-mail? Do we check it first thing in the morning and all day long? Does it keep us up at night? Can we go more than three days without it? America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced the results of its E-mail Addiction survey, which takes a look at the new behaviors and routines that have formed among millions of Americans for whom e-mail is an essential part everyday life.

The survey asked Americans about their e-mail habits, including everything from how often they check personal e-mail at work to whether or not they've ever checked e-mail while in church. The survey found that e-mail users today rely on e-mail as much as the phone for communication, spend about an hour a day on e-mail, and that 77% of e-mail users have more than one e-mail account all pointing to the fact that e-mail has forever changed the way we communicate.

America Online, in partnership with Opinion Research Corporation, conducted online surveys with 4,012 respondents 18 and older in the top 20 cities around the country to measure e-mail usage.

Signs that we're hooked on e-mail:

We wake up and check it. Forty one percent check e-mail first thing in the morning, 18% check it right after dinner, 14% say they check e-mail right when they get home from work, and 14% do so right before they go to bed.

We can't make it through the night. Forty percent of e-mail users have checked their e-mail in the middle of the night.

We can't live without it! More than one in four (26%) say they haven't gone more than two to three days without checking their e-mail.

We have multiple accounts. Most e-mail users have two or three e-mail accounts (56%). The average user has 2.8 accounts.

We check it anytime, anywhere. E-mail users have checked their e-mail in a variety of locations, including:

In bed in their pajamas (23%)
In class (12%)
In a business meeting (8%)
At a Wi-Fi hotspot, like Starbuck's or McDonald's (6%)
At the beach or pool (6%)
In the bathroom (4%)
While driving (4%)
In church (1%)

E-mail me, please... When meeting someone new, e-mail users are about as likely to give the other person their e-mail address (32%) as their home phone number (37%) or cell phone number (28%).

We check personal e-mail on the job
The survey found that 61% of e-mail users who are employed outside the home check their personal e-mail at work, with three times a day the average.

About half of those who check personal e-mail at work (47%) check it sporadically throughout the day, while about one in four (25%) check it first thing when they arrive, 18% check it at lunchtime, 8% during an afternoon break and 2% right before they head home.

Women are more likely than men to check their personal e-mail at work throughout the day (50% vs. 44%), while men are more likely than women to check their personal e-mail first thing when they arrive in the morning (28% vs. 21%).

Those who check personal e-mail at work are slightly more likely to say they do so to take care of personal errands (26%) rather than to correspond with friends and family (20%).

20% feel guilty about checking personal e-mail at work, and women are twice as likely as men to feel guilty about sending personal e-mails from the office (27% vs. 13%).

About one in ten of those who check personal e-mail at work (9%) have been busted by the boss for doing so.

And on vacation

Six in ten of all e-mail users (60%) check their e-mail while on vacation, mostly for pleasure (47%) rather than business (13%).

Of those who access e-mail while on vacation, 57% say it's very (21%) or somewhat important (36%) that they have access to e-mail.

Other findings from the survey:

Share it with loved ones. One in four e-mail users (26%) shares an e-mail address, with a spouse (21%), their children (7%), a friend (6%), a parent (3%) or a roommate (1%).

Take it back. E-mail users are most interested in being able to un-send a message which hasn't been read yet (45%) and a similar number are interested in being able to track where an e-mail has been forwarded (43%). Others are interested in the ability to put a lock on e-mail so it can't be forwarded (27%), a pop-up that asks the user to double-check who they are sending the e-mail to (27%) and un-sending a message which has already been read (14%).

Top 10 Cities Addicted to E-Mail

According to the survey, the top ten markets that can't live without their e-mail are:

1. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
2. San Francisco
3. Philadelphia
4. New York
5. Houston
6. Washington, DC
7. Boston
8. Dallas-Ft. Worth
9. Chicago
10. Los Angeles

This index was based on several factors including: number of e-mail accounts; average times e-mail checked per day; average times personal e-mail checked at work; whether e-mail is checked on vacation for pleasure; average hours spent e-mailing per day; and percentage of those concerned they may be addicted to e-mail.

For more information and to see if you're addicted, please visit

Survey Methodology
These results are based on online surveys conducted by Opinion Research Corporation with 200 residents per city in the top twenty cities nationwide; respondents were 18 years of age and older.

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