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All Hail E-mail

Remember the good old days when people would simply pick up a phone and give you a call when they wanted to talk to you? Well, we here at Synergy Merchant Services still enjoy doing that. We like to hear the voices of our friends, family members and of course, our clients. We feel that the over-the-phone voice offers that personal touch that is the next best thing to being in person.

But these aren’t the good old days. And as much as we still all use phones…mainly cells and now “smartphones”, there are many other ways of communicating that are becoming more popular. Although it is nothing new, e-mail is apparently the most addictive of communication methods today.

A QMI Agency report, released earlier today, reveals the findings of a new study conducted by technology firm, Xnobi and Harris Interactive. The study found that two-thirds of Brits and Americans are addicted to e-mail. Feeling compelled to consistently check and return e-mails, many people are finding that this practice is taking up the time of individuals at both their homes and the workplace.

In fact, “27% of Americans and 20% of Brits check their e-mail outside of office hours because they feel expected to provide quick responses to less-than-urgent questions. Business professionals have become so overwhelmed with e-mail that they are bringing e-mail to the bedroom.”

But who checks e-mails more often, women or men? The male population is seemingly guilty of being even more addicted to the popular online communication service than their female counterparts. In addition, the younger you are, the more likely you are to be someone who spends time e-mailing even when you’re in bed!

Perhaps, the craziest finding of the Xnobi and Harris Interactive study is the fact that e-mailing is so addictive, most people don’t even take a vacation from it. Literally! 86 per cent of Brits who were polled admitted to checking their e-mails even when on holiday. Says QMI: “The survey polled 2,200 adults between Aug. 5 and Aug. 9 in a voluntary online poll.”

Has the way of the phone call gone astray? Do people not like hanging out anymore? Surely, these methods of communication are not yet extinct, but the fact that e-mail is so addictive is potentially alarming. It is obviously a great way to keep in touch, especially with those who live far distances away. But how much is too much?

In addition, we are also well aware that it is a good business tool. Sending attachments through e-mail is a lot more convenient than having to chuck something in the mail. As a result, it seems that people can’t do without it. So maybe these findings were to be expected. We will keep our eyes open for a Canadian study of the same ilk.

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