Internet Pros Check Email Less Often

from the it'll-be-there-later dept

We’ve written in the past about how younger internet users are often using other forms of communication (instant messaging, text messaging, social network private messaging, etc.) over email, and now comes a study noting that more experienced internet users tend to check their email less frequently than newer internet users. The folks behind the report suggest that experienced internet users have reached the point at which they don’t want email controlling them any more — but it makes you wonder if the real answer is that many are using other forms of communication instead of email, decreasing the importance of email. By the way, the other finding in the study: email users over the age of 70 think you should reply to emails quickly, rather than letting them linger. So go ahead, email your grandparents right back. We’ll wait.

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Comments on “Internet Pros Check Email Less Often”

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some old guy says:

phone too

I don’t hardly ever answer my phone right away either. I will always check who it is that’s calling, but about 20% of the time, I don’t answer it.

Why? Just because people have a string attached directly to my consciousness, doesn’t mean they should tug on that string at every whim and fancy.

But perhaps that’s showing a bit much of my anti-social behavior, yes? This does not appear to be the norm in our society.

Research God says:

Some truth to study

I’ve noticed that I’ve been checking email less and less frequently than I did let’s say in college or grad school. Could be that I’m busier now, but even after I get home from work and on the weekends, I’m less likely to be emailing today then let’s say 5 years ago. There was even a period of 1 whole week that went by when I didnt bother to check email – best thing about that week was that I didnt care. I didnt feel like I needed to check email.

As for using other forms of communication, I dont know about that. I think folks are just getting tired of always having to check email. I still use the phone, though, to communicate with others and sometimes I’ll even go over to my next door neighbor and talk to him face to face. I know! The humanity of it all!

Matt (profile) says:


I don’t check my email a ton either. I run firefox/noscript/adblock for normal browsing, and don’t check my gmail accounts often. However, I get notifications on the important accounts when they actually get email so of course I have no reason to check them at all other than notifications.

Some people at my work check their mail religiously even at the slightest notification for mail. Eh, I say.

Andy Dring says:

Re: @Verse

“I have an RSS feed on my homepage that tells me when I have email, so whenever I want to search for something … Bam I know if I have email.”

Surely this means that you are checking your email all the time, ie every time you open your browser? by having it displayed directly in front of you, it’s tantamount to opening your email client every time you open your browser?

DanTheMan (profile) says:

Boss wanted to get me a smart phone

And I declined. He wanted to get me that phone because he knew that I would have internet service all the time, because I carry my phone everywhere. Then he wanted me to provide the text mail address for my current phone to some other idiots who would be texting me, instead of calling me directly, about problems with orders. Answer to smart phone? No, unless you don’t know about it. Answer to text address to idiots? No, you need to call me when you have problems so we can discuss directly. Those same idiots have a history of simply handing off problems rather than doing their jobs–(think about the problem and provide me some potential resolutions BEFORE you call me please)…. texting is the perfect excuse..”we sent him a text….”… And these are the same cubicle dwellers who seem to think field sales people are always in front of their computer on the web–so we can fill out web forms and work flow processes. NOT! I don’t want my busy day interrupted by the minute details of the process…. especially by people who are avoiding doing their own jobs.

I DID accept a cellular wireless card (I live way out of the metro areas) so if I really needed to get on line I could. That has been a life saver at certain points. But I still have the excuse to avoid… “I am driving”, “I don’t have cell phone service”, “I am not online”, “It will take a while for my computer to get started up, what can I help you with?”….

pbaka says:

checking email how often?

I still check too regularly – but filter by star/flagging etc the ones that might be worthwhile, and abandoning the others, which I generally get round to bulk deleting periodically.

But if email is the way your business communicates, then you have to pay adequate attention. Example – email to all the tech coordinators world wide saying “check if this patch Tuesday fix from M$FT breaks any local apps as we will implement automatically install everywhere next Tuesday unless you tell us of problems” is a message that job descriptionwise you can’t ignore.

Anonymous Coward says:

For any business user E-Mail is something that should be checked once in the morning and once in the middle of the afternoon and only used to send small documents and quick notices that needs to be maintained.

Large items, say a 1,000 page report or large CAD drawings, are to big (contain to many bits) for E-Mail.

If more immediate response is need, which is rare ules you are working a 911 desk, then E-mail is nor an apporiate form of communication.

Other wise you have work to do and should not be playing around.

PrimeSonic (user link) says:

Why we "check" email less often

As stated somewhere above, experience internet users don’t go to “check” their email anymore. We have apps or rss feeds or any number of devices that alerts us when we have new email and can give us a preview of it, to know if it’s worth going to check right away or not.

New internet users probably haven’t discovered these things yet and possibly open their email client just to see if they have an unread message.

That being said, I’m using my email much less to communicate with other people. For me, it’s now where I receive alerts and digests to important sites I wish to be kept up to date on, or anything involving work or the like. This has drastically reduced my use of email since now for taking with other people there’s plenty of other options (as you’ve mentioned).

James says:

I disagree

I consider myself a very experienced internet user (10+ years using the internet, and often 10+ hours on it per day); I use email often.

That doesn’t mean I sit and monitor a webpage app every 2 seconds, or use text messaging etc, but I use email constantly for information from people or companies I’ve done business or for personal reasons. To suggest its less used today I think is one of those things that just may or may not be true.

Danny says:

Interesting conjecture

Interesting conjecture that Internet Pros are switching to other communication channels. But just a conjecture.

I think there is Gartner (and similar) data showing that use of both IM and SMS is increasing in the workplace; so perhaps there is some data to support the conjecture.

And, depending upon how one is measuring email, crackberry use (still email, but different form factor) may not be showing up. And crackberry use is certainly increasing.

Personally, though, I have decided I am too connected and am backing off from making myself ubiquitously available. I suspect there is some of this going on among others as well.

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