E-mail: Escape from Being Fully Present?

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, provides some fascinating statistics about e-mail addiction and information overload on his Web site.


He says,

66% of people read email seven days a week and expect to receive a response the same day.

61% continue to check email while on vacation.

56% have anxiety if they can’t access email.

“Crackberry” was the official winner of the 2006 Word-of-the-Year as selected by the editorial staff of Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Blackberry addiction has been labeled “similar to drugs” in a study performed by Rutgers University; millions of users are now able unable to go more than five minutes without checking e-mail.

According to online surveys of more than 4,000 people, conducted jointly by AOL and the Opinion Research Corporation and reported in 2005:

41% of Americans check e-mail first thing in the morning

  • 18% check e-mail right after dinner
  • 14% check e-mail right when they get home from work
  • 14% check e-mail right before they go to bed
  • 40% have checked their e-mail in the middle of the night

More than one in four (26%) say they can’t go more than two to three days without checking email, and they check it everywhere:

  • In bed—23%
  • In class—12%
  • In business meetings—8%
  • At the beach or pool—6%
  • In the bathroom—4%
  • While driving—4%
  • In church—1%
  • I don’t know about you, but I find this disturbing. It is almost like we will do anything rather than be fully present where we are. Something to think about.

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