If you check your email in the middle of the night or even while driving, youâ€™re not alone. According to AOL Mailâ€™s fourth annual Email Addiction Survey, nearly half (46%) of email users said theyâ€™re hooked on email (up from just 15% last year) and 51% check their email four or more times a day (up from 45% in 2007). One in five said they check their email more than 10 times a day.
More than one-quarter (27%) are so overwhelmed by their email that theyâ€™ve either declared â€œemail bankruptcy,â€ deleting all their email messages to start anew, or theyâ€™re seriously thinking about doing so. Maybe itâ€™s because 20% of users said they have over 300 emails in their inboxes.
To start fresh, 24% admit theyâ€™ve signed up for a new email address. It comes as no surprise then that 69% of email users said they have multiple email accounts, up from 52% in 2007.
When asked about email etiquette, nearly one quarter (24%) of email users said they donâ€™t even use a salutation â€“ they just dive right into their email messages! Meanwhile, 23% write â€œHi Bobâ€ and 20% say â€œHello Bobâ€ when they start an email to co-worker Bob.
As for email sign-offs, most people write â€œThanksâ€ (44%) or â€œSincerely (12%). The most annoying sign-off among email users? Itâ€™s â€œxoxoâ€ according to 25% of respondents. â€œCheersâ€ irritated 13% of users the most. Overall, 63% of email users were annoyed by some type of email sign-off.
Most respondents (88%) said that they pay attention to spelling and punctuation when writing emails, and 68% said emails with spelling and punctuation errors annoyed them. Interestingly, 74% said they excuse errors when emails are sent from a mobile device like a BlackBerry or iPhone.
People today check their email from the strangest of places. Where you ask?
- In bed in their pajamas: 67%
- From the bathroom: 59% (up from 53% last year)
- While driving: 50% (up from 37% last year)
- In a bar or club: 39%
- In a business meeting: 38%
- During happy hour: 34%
- While on a date: 25%
- From church: 15% (up from 12% last year)
Email users have also become too quick to hit the â€œSendâ€ button. In fact, 32% have forwarded an email to the wrong person and 16% have relied on email as a way to share uncomfortable or bad news with someone. Meanwhile, 12% have used email to ask someone on a date and 7% have broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend over email. A full 16% even said they still keep email notes from ex-boyfriends and girlfriends!
We also just canâ€™t walk away from our inboxes. Of those surveyed, 60% said theyâ€™ve never gone more than 5 days without checking email and 17% canâ€™t go more than one day without email. Theyâ€™re so hooked that 11% have even hidden the fact that theyâ€™re checking email from a spouse or family member.
Some cities are more hooked on email than others. Here are the ten most email addicted cities in the country:
1. New York
5. San Francisco
8. Minneapolis-St. Paul