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July 27, 2007

People, Stop Checking Your Email in The Bathroom

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Okay, this has got to stop. Put down your blackberry, your iPhone, your Treo, or whatever the heck it is you use and pay attention. You have a problem and you must stop it.

A new AOL study (stop laughing) surveyed 4,025 people age 13 and older from 20 cities around the country and quizzed them about their email usage. The results were disturbing enough that you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

According to the survey:

  • 59 percent are checking email in bed
  • 53 percent in the bathroom
  • 37 percent are checking email while they drive.
  • 12 percent admit to checking email in church

Fine, I may forgive you for that last one, but will He?

The people responsible for the survey seem to think the problem is rooted in our your inability to properly manage both your time and your influx of email. They even offer up three (lame) tips that are supposed to help you get better organized.

Personally, I don’t think these stats have anything to do with how sucky our time management is. You are not checking your email in the bathroom because you have a "time management" problem. You are checking your email in the bathroom because you need to be medicated. Do you know how many germs you’re exposing your phone and your face to by doing that? You may as well lick the bathroom floor and the side of the toilet while you’re at it.

The reason people are checking their email in the bathroom, in bed and on vacation is because they can. They do it because they’re bored, compulsive or because they’re socially inept and would much rather interact with their phone than the person sitting next to them. If you don’t believe me on that last one, try going to lunch with Susan Esparza. She’ll check her email 8 times during a 30 minute period.

Email is supposed to make your life better, people, not facilitate you ignoring your spouse in bed (there’s TV for that). I consider myself somewhat Internet obsessed, but I don’t use my phone to surf the Web unless I’m (a) hopelessly lost and in need of directions or (b) starving and in an area I don’t know. If you find yourself away from both your computer and your email, it typically means you’re supposed to be out actually having a life. Try it once and awhile.

Now to all those Internet marketers reading this, go revise those campaign emails and make sure they’re readable on mobile devices! Bob’s in the bathroom and he’s got nothin’ to read!





One response to “People, Stop Checking Your Email in The Bathroom”

  1. SEO Honolulu writes:

    geez.. “The Lisa” sounds “The Grumpy” :p

    Seriously though, I think the additional cause to people obsessing over their email is also because of bosses, co-workers, family, and/or friends who want to abuse how accessible you are thanks to the technology itself.

    Try checking out how many people feel they have to bring some sort of device that can keep them connected to email while their on vacation. I’m sure their spouse and kids appreciate it.



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