June 04, 2005

E-mail Addiction Common According to AOL Survey

How long could you go without checking e-mail? It may not be as easy as one might think. Internetnews.com reports an AOL survey of just over 4,000 people, and the results reflect "an obsessive-compulsive need to check it morning, noon and night."

"E-mail has become such an important component of life that 26 percent reported that they haven't gone more than two to three days without checking in." The article reports that 60% of Americans check e-mail while away on holiday, and 40% check it in the middle of the night.

"Adding to the addiction is the fact that the average e-mail user had 2.8 e-mail accounts, with 56 percent of respondents indicating they had two or three e-mail accounts." I would have liked to see how portable e-mail devices, such as BlackBerries or Treos, factored into the responses.

However, I found it interesting that 59% polled were interested in a feature to "un-send" or retract their e-mails, which indicates sender's remorse. Perhaps more useful would be a "send delay" feature for queuing up outbound messages -- the electronic version of a "cooling off" period to allow one to reconsider. Such a feature would retain the integrity of the e-mail system, instead of disappearing e-mail records, which could be problematic under various legal requirements.

Considering the survey results along with my recent post, "Is Technology Making Us More Scatterbrained?", technology is definitely having some unintended consequences in our lives.

[Thanks to Neil Squillante, TechnoLawyer Blog, for sending me the link.]

Topic(s):   Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard