Don’t Push, I’m Checking My Email

Our reliance on technology is off the charts. And I don’t mean technology used for science or health. I mean email, smartphones, Facebook and Twitter. I ran across a study about emails that showed:

 Two thirds of us check our work email outside of work hours at least once a day . . . and one in eight people stay logged in to email all day so they can reply in real-time, regardless of where they are.

Four out of five check their work email over the weekend . . . three in five check it while they’re on vacation . . . and more than half check it from home after 11:00 P.M.

One in ten people have checked their email while at their kid’s school event . . . one in 11 have checked it at a wedding . . . one in 16 have checked at a funeral . . . and one in 16 have checked email while either they or their spouse was in labor.

Think about that. In LABOR. This is (or should be) one the most exciting/nerve-racking moments of your life, and you’re checking your email? And this study only focused on email, it doesn’t take into account texting or social media.

Here’s my question (applying to email only), what’s the cause of this? I have 2 theories:

  1. You’re a control freak, so obsessed with  what’s going on a work, that you can’t (i.e. won’t) function without being in the know.
  2. You’re scared. You work someplace that demands action NOW. Not tomorrow morning, now. You may get paid for a 40 hour week, but you’re expected to be on call 24/7. You most likely hate your job because of it, but you feel trapped.

I think  a majority of the time it’s theory #2. At least I hope it is. I don’t hope  people hate their jobs, but I hope someone isn’t checking email at their child’s event, a funeral or in labor just because they can.

Oh, the survey also found that 30% of workers use their work email to send and receive personal email.  And the oldest work email that any of the survey participants still had saved was from 1994 . . . so it was 19 years old.


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