Addicted to E-Mail
Posted: March 23, 2007
I think many people are addicted to something. I admit that there are things that I am attracted to and I suppose there are some things that I do that qualify me as an addict. But I was somewhat surprised this week when I read about individuals who are addicted to e-mail. I thought, of all things, how could someone be addicted to e-mail?
I listened to a radio program online about three weeks ago on WGN-AM 720 in Chicago when the host asked listeners to tell him about their experiences when checking their e-mail messages. After two hours, it was evident that there were a number of listeners who were addicted to their e-mail system. Some said they spend four hours a day replying to messages over the Internet.
Personally, I receive and reply to about 15-20 e-mail messages per day. Some of the people who called into the Chicago radio station claimed that they would be interrupted up to 30 times a day by messages they would receive while at work. The callers told the radio host that they believed they were "e-mail addicts".
By the end of the radio program, I learned about a 12-step program that is designed to assist those who cannot help but answer every e-mail message they receive. I wrote down the steps, mostly because I wanted to know what the signs are if I become an "e-mail addict".
I would like to highlight the top five steps that I think could possibly help you if you think you are an e-mail addict:
1)Admit that your e-mail is managing you. (In other words, if you have to check your e-mail every 10 minutes, you may be an addict).
2)Commit to keeping your in-box empty. For example, how many messages do you have in your in-box that are more than one year old? (Personally, I delete about 40 messages each month).
3)Establish regular times to read your e-mail. Tell others who may e-mail you regularly that you will only check your messages at certain times each day.
4)Adopt a two-minute rule: If it can be handled and/or deleted in less than two mintues, do it and delete the e-mail message.
5)Reduce the amount of e-mail that you receive by getting a junk mail filter.
Fortunately, I do not think that I have become an e-mail addict. I do understand, though, how some of us may have the need to know whenever someone sends a message electronically. I just did not know it could be so addictive.