Americans More Addicted to Email, Thanks to Portable Devices

Americans More Addicted to Email, Thanks to Portable Devices

More Americans than ever before are using portable devices to keep tabs on their email throughout the day and night, and from virtually anywhere – bed, cars, bathrooms, even church – according to AOL’s third annual “Email Addiction” survey, which found that email use on portable devices has nearly doubled since 2004.

Some user-related findings from the AOL survey:

  • The average email user checks mail about five times a day, and 59% of those with portable devices are using them to check email every time a new message arrives.
  • 43% of email users with portable devices say they keep the device nearby when they are sleeping to listen for incoming mail.
  • With or without portable devices, 15% of Americans describe themselves as “addicted to email.”
  • Many users even plan their vacations with email access in mind:
    • About four in ten email users say it is “very” or “somewhat” important to them to think about email accessibility when they are planning a vacation.
    • 83% of email users admit to checking their mail once a day while actually on vacation.

Other significant findings from the AOL survey:

  • Washington, DC is the most “email addicted” city in the country:
    • 82% of Washingtonians have multiple email accounts – the highest percentage of any city in the survey.
    • Rounding out the top 10 cities addicted to emai: Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Orlando, Denver, Miami.
  • Americans are emailing anywhere and everywhere: 59% of people emailing from portable devices are checking email in bed while in their pajamas; 53% in the bathroom; 37% are checking email while they drive; and 12% admit to checking email in church.
  • Women (16%) are more likely to describe themselves as addicted to email than men (13%), and are actually spending 15 minutes more per day on email than men.
  • 43% of email users check their email first thing in the morning, and 40% have checked their email in the middle of the night. 26% admit to checking email on a laptop in bed while in their pajamas.
  • 60% of people who email admit to checking their personal email at work an average of three times a day. While only 15% of those who do so have been “busted” by their bosses, 28% say they feel guilty about it.

About the study: The AOL study results are based on interviews conducted online, in partnership with Opinion Research Corporation, with 4,025 Americans age 13 and over. The survey was conducted June 9-19, 2007, in 20 US cities.