According to a press release on the survey results, the average email user checks mail about five times a day, and 59% of respondents with portable devices said they are using them to check email every time a new message arrives. Forty-three percent of email users with portable devices surveyed said they keep the device nearby when they are sleeping to listen for incoming mail.
Fifty-nine percent of people emailing from portable devices confessed to checking email in bed while in their pajamas; 53% in the bathroom; 37% while they drive; and 12% check email while in church. Forty-three percent of email users surveyed said they check their email first thing in the morning, and 40% have checked their email in the middle of the night, the release said. Despite these findings, only 15% of all survey respondents described themselves as “addicted to email.”
Many of Americans surveyed are even planning their vacations with email access in mind. About four in ten email users said it is “very” or “somewhat” important to them to think about email accessibility when they are planning a vacation, and eighty-three percent of email users admitted to checking email once a day while on vacation.
In addition, the survey found 60% of people who email check their personal email at work an average of three times a day. Only 15% of those who do so have been “busted” by their bosses, but 28% said they feel guilty about doing it.
If you feel you are an email addict and are in need of an intervention, Regina Lewis, AOL Online Consumer Advisor, offered some tips in the press release:
- Organize: Use folders provided to file messages appropriately. Simple drag and drop technology allows you to file your messages by category, and can help avoid repetitive communication.
- Use the away message: If you feel compelled to answer every email as it comes in, use your away message to let people know that you have stepped away from email for the day (or night), and will respond when you return.
- Follow the Rule of Three: If you have emailed back and forth with the same person on the same topic more than three times, it is time to pick up the phone and have a conversation.
Interviews for the survey were conducted online with 4,025 Americans age 13 and over June 9-19, 2007. More information is at www.switched.com .