Face it, You’re Addicted to Love. Wait, I Mean Email!

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…..

Have you ever sat by your mailbox in front of your house or apartment for 8 hours? I’m not talking just one day waiting for that acceptance letter or for your Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. I’m talking, just setting up a chair by the mailbox, five days per week, 8 hours per day? You weren’t waiting for your scholarship letter or even your passport to be delivered. We are talking mainly junk mail. You know, advertisements, pizza coupons, catalogs you never ordered and an occasional electric bill. When you receive your electric bill, do you tell the mailman “Hold up, I want to write a check, get a stamp, then give it back to you.” I’m thinking no. Email is now our preferred method of communication.

Addicted to email. Lady sitting at by a mailbox.5 Clues You are Addicted to your email

  1. The first thing you do in the morning is to check your email.
    I’m talking before you have had your morning cup of joe or take the dog for his morning walk. You get out of bed, and the first place you head is for your phone, tablet, laptop or computer. God forbid that someone if they needed you would call you. Don’t you know that email is so much more personal and urgent?
  2. You sync your email so that it is always alerting you when you get a new email.
    I don’t know about you, but the majority of my emails updates on something I already know about. They are not life-changing. If they were life-changing, I would have told the person to call me the minute they had the news I wanted to hear.
  3. If you don’t check your email, you feel that nagging thought that you are missing something.
    Well yes, you are missing something, people who want to sell you something, ask for something or just let you know of an upcoming event. Sure, there are interoffice emails and answers from clients on proposals you have sent, but have you thought about calling these people or asking them to call you once they have their answer? If they want to go ahead with the proposal, they will probably want to call you if you have directed them to do so. If they don’t, well……you will probably get a rejection by email.
    dear John typewriter. are you addicted to email?
  4. You are behind on big projects you should have already completed.
    Instead of deciding what you wanted to get accomplished before the end of the day, those things that are going to mean the most at the end of the day, you just wait for an email to arrive so you can read it and reply. Instead of planning your day, you let your emails plan your day for you. Even if you are a CEO, if you are doing this, then you are a slave, not the master of your destiny.
  5. You leave work or your house feeling that you wasted another entirely good day and can’t figure out what you did that day.
    You know what, you are right. You did waste another perfectly good day. You let a bunch of 1’s and 0’s, digital media dictate your day for you. Your inbox may be empty, but so is your essential project list empty; you know, the one that you created a month ago that you haven’t looked at. You have become a slave to your emails. They now control you. You have given up all autonomy to others. Their agenda has now become your agenda. You don’t have a plan. This incessant phrase controls you.
    you've got mail picture. are you addicted to email?

It’s time to say No!

This has become like a drug. Why do you think when you log into your email, it asks for the ‘User’ ID? It’s not going to be easy to wean off of this drug. It’s going to be painful, and others, those ‘Pushers’ of email are not going to like it. They won’t like that you don’t instantly reply to their never-ending emails. You will have to set boundaries. You might even have an auto-reply that says something like this: “Thanks for your email. I check my emails twice per day. I will get back to you as soon as I am able. If you need assistance quicker, you have my number.” Can you do this? Do you want to do this? How has this been going for you so far? You know what I’m talking about.

Test for email drug usage

Set up an auto-reply for one day. “I will be out of the (office, desk, area) today. I will answer your email tomorrow when I return.”
If you are expecting some big email, then let your associate, spouse or significant other, check the subject or senders for you to make sure this base is covered. I didn’t say it was going to be easy, but if you can’t make it without emails for one day, then you are out of control and have given this control to anybody that decides to fill your inbox.

26 thoughts on “Face it, You’re Addicted to Love. Wait, I Mean Email!”

  1. I never thought about it that way before but yes it does seem rather like an addiction! Recently I’ve been noticing whenever I log into my email that theres 200+ Unread sitting there waiting for me. Mostly unfiltered spam. Enough is enough! Thank you for your post.

  2. The sitting by the mail box was a really great analogy. I would say I am less addicted to my email, than I am about social media. Because I blog, like you do, I find that I am checking constantly all day long. I still have not found a good resolution for this that respects my boundaries and time, yet promotes my material efficiently.

    1. Yes, I even wrote about this tendency to check my blog stats too many times per day.
      I love what the digital world has done for us, but I really do not want to be tied to a device and not pay attention to the bigger ideas and projects that I want to work on.

  3. Can I hire one of those addicted people to check and go through my emails?! I’m not too fond of checking emails I get because I’d rather be doing something else… ha!
    I never really thought about people loving emails! interesting!
    great post to break down/identify addiction via email.

  4. Yes, checking emails continuously can be a part of an obsession for some people. I see this all the time, especially in reference to social media. There is something about the ease of access to the world being at our fingertips and that we have the ability to get updates regularly that allures so many.

    1. ….and you know this bleeds into other areas of our life that we can’t get instant gratification from. My patience level for projects has grown shorter as I expect things to happen instantly. I blame my constant email and social media contact for this. I used to start home projects that would take me say a month to do, but now, I get frustrated if it can’t be completed by the end of the day.

  5. We live in a world where we are super connected through the internet. The internet allows us to communicate in ways that were not possible years ago. I must admit, I may be suffering from it. I work a freelance job that communicate with me regularly through email and it’s become a natural habit. Also, since I am looking for a new job I catch myself constantly checking emails to see if any jobs contacted me. I need to take a break and this post brought awareness that this could be an addiction. Time to unplug, thanks!

    1. Katherine, you are welcome. This is SO hard to break, especially if you work in a digital environment as I do. I find that if I plan my day BEFORE I open my email, I tend to stick to my planned list instead of life via email.

  6. Haha, Hi my name is Eric and I am an email-aholic! Yeah I guess I am sort of addicted but it is weird how I rarely really read my emails. It is more like I like to skim my emails. Though I will say as a “professional traveler” I love when I am forced to disconnect from tech because I cant get a signal!
    It is weird too because when I finally return to “technological civilization” I see my email accounts packed with emails (most junk or entertainment) and I don’t even read them, I just select all and delete them. Perhaps we all need this kind of detox to break our email addiction!

    1. I did this last year. I told everyone that I was not going to have my phone. My wife had her phone in case of an emergency.
      The first 2 days it was like detoxing for sure but it got easier the rest of the time.

  7. Welp! We all need rehab then lol. I do get notifs for all 3 of my emails and I check them immediately or as soon as I can get to my phone. I hate seeing unread messages even tough I know what they are. I’ve filtered messages so junk goes to junk but still, some creep through. Sigh.

    1. What I have found helpful is to write down those emails that I am waiting for on my daily task list. If that person is not the one who sent the email, I simply don’t open it then. I go back to my ‘Have to get done’ list and focus on those things.

  8. The average worker is interrupted every 10 minutes or an average of 56 times per day, and it takes around 25 minutes to completely refocus attention back on the original task. That’s 2 hours spent recovering from distractions every day. And unfortunately, habitual email checking is one of those pesky interruptions that cause you to lose focus. In one workplace study, Jackson et al. (2002) found that 70% of emails got a reaction within 6 seconds of arrival, and 85% within 2 minutes. After being interrupted by email, it took participants of this study 64 seconds of “Now where was I again?” to recover their train of thought.

  9. well…looks like I have another addiction. Very hard to break many of these “millennial” addictions haha

  10. I have definitely gone through phases where I’m addicted to my email. Where I’m constantly checking it. It’s usually when I’m waiting for something important then I get distracted by everything else. It’s a dangerous place

    1. I get roped into this as well. I am well intentioned, but then I see other emails and then…….
      If you can figure out a way to prevent this while waiting for an important email, let me know!

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