Critical Section

email addiction + survey

Saturday,  08/30/08  11:02 AM

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Peggy Kuo, an honours student at the University of New South Wales, who is conducting a survey on "Email Addiction in the Workplace" as part of her thesis topic.  She found me because of my 2003 article The Tyranny of EmailPeggy has posted an online survey and asked me if I'd mind linking to it...  not at all, Peggy!  If you have a few minutes and would like to help her, please click through and take the survey.  I just took it myself in about five minutes.

The whole subject of email addiction is pretty interesting...  obviously email is an important communication tool, and many of us rely on it for business; as well, many personal contacts now are made and maintained that way...  when was the last time you wrote a [paper] letter!  If you encounter someone who doesn't have an email address it seems weird, in fact it seems weird when you encounter people who don't check their email at least daily.  Now that we have smartphones, checking email hourly seems pretty normal, and of course we all know "crackberry addicts" who check their email compulsively every minute.  Whether this rises to the level of addiction depends on how easily you can let it go, I guess; I like being informed and check email frequently, but I am able to unplug without too much trauma.

My biggest problem with email isn't that I feel I must check it, it is that I choose to check it as a way to procrastinate.  I have the same problem with reading RSS feeds.  And with posting to my blog :)


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