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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013

* Zorn writes today about how young people aren’t using e-mail, but links to several stories that seem to debunk the theory that e-mail is dead. So…

* The Question: How often do you check your e-mail account(s)? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…

survey services

* Supplemental Question: How do you typically check your e-mail? Take the poll and explain…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    I think this whole internets thing is a passing fad.

  2. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    My work day never ends, and my play day never ends, either. So I am tethered to the world. Have been using more Facebook PMs and texting than previously for personal stuff, and more often than not my email is work related, probably 80-90%.

  3. - Rufus - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    I receive about 75-100 e-mails a day at work. Some require a response almost immediately. Outlook is open and on my desktop as soon as I get to work.

    I check my Ipad about once an hour.

  4. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    Another few questions–how many email accounts do you have, and of those, how many do you actually use?

    I have a work account, which is always open when I am at work. I have gmail for non-work email, which I will look at a couple of times a day. I have a Yahoo account which is what I use to sign up for access to things that I know are going to send me spam. I have an account through AT&T that I never use–I didn’t sign up for it, they just gave it to me.

  5. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    I think Rufus is touching on something. Those people who are relying in Social Media (and the older generation that thinks it is the be all and end all) do not understand that if you want to get across any significant amount of information, you need to use email or a web site. All Social Media does is channel a user to one of those more “traditional” methods of information gathering.

  6. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    Check email at least once a day, more often if actually expecting something- business, personal, and family. Would probably check more if I had a personal device; bigness problem is signing out and in to another account.
    Have Facebook, at times was checking all of the time, but now once every day or two…

  7. - schwartzee - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    At least every hour because I’m either at my desk and check out of habit or because my blackberry notifies me when I have a new message.

  8. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    I am 24 years old.

    My personal and work emails buzz my phone and I check them immediately, almost like it’s a text.

  9. - MrJM - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:10 pm:

    1) I check my email like a rat in a Skinner box.
    2) I check my email using my laptop, telephone or iPods.
    3) I have a problem.

    – MrJM

  10. - shore - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:10 pm:

    I can not tell you how frustrating the communications divide has become between older and younger workers. Older workers don’t text, they don’t check email frequently, they don’t like to use video chat or chat services, they use phones way too much. I’m sorry but you live in 2013 not 1983, not 1993 or even 2003, I know you’ve spent 30 years in the workforce, but that’s not an excuse for communications/tech laziness/unwillingness to bend to the times. This is not France.

  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:12 pm:

    I always have my email open when I’m working, so it’s pretty constant. If I’m not working, I’m not billing and I’m not making money.

  12. - Susiejones - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    I have my Outlook open most of the work day (I work from home office); I check yahoo account a couple of days a week–got it mostly to sign up for Facebook. I can check emails on my phone, so when I’m away from my desk/office I can still check emails every couple of hours.

  13. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:21 pm:

    I check my personal e-mail once or twice a day. For me, it’s work e-mails that I’m constantly reading. That’s the nature of modern business. I am able to read personal e-mails and work e-mails from my personal laptop at home or from my work desktop, iPad and iPhone.

    I’m connected to the office electronically 24/7. For the business world, e-mail isn’t even sick, much less dead.

  14. - Lil Enchilada - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    I have 3 different email accounts for different uses. One for work, one for friends/family, one that I use when ordering things. I don’t use email nearly as much as I did in the past; I text more.

  15. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    Email dead? What planet are they on?

  16. - FormerParatrooper - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    At least once an hour from 6am to 7pm. My job requires a lot of travel, different time zones and being available for my customers is important to me. I fix things others break, that is job security.

  17. - Way South of I-80 - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    Work email is constant - 24/7 - I use work computer, home computer, iPad, iPhone continuously. Personal email - I check every few days. I text often too. I have gotten to the point where I dread phone conversations - hate to go through the whole “Hi, How are you?” blah blah blah stuff before you can finally get to the point of the call. Texting is just so much more efficient.

  18. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    I check my emails constantly via my smartphone, mostly just to clear them. Some of my most important communication is done via email.

  19. - ChrisB - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    I have Outlook for work and Gmail for instant messaging open on my computer at all times during the day. I also have a school email that I admittedly don’t check as often as I should, a throwaway email to cut down on spam, and couple yahoo accounts I set up for March Madness that I never use. Our office has an internal instant messenger which is great when you need quick answers. That being said, I rarely check email at home since I’m on all day. Anything I get outside of work hours is likely crap anyway.

    Maybe it’s the former staffer in me, but I don’t understand how people can go days without checking email. It’s my main form of communication. It’s way more efficient than phone calls. The 1-second delay from cell phones makes almost every conversation awkward. Texts are great, since I won’t get sucked into a 45 minute conversation with someone. Calls should rarely last more than five minutes. The longer you talk, the less I’m going to randomly call you, since I have to block off an hour to do so. It sounds terrible, but I just don’t have that kind of time. If you have that much to say, come on over for beers and do it face to face.

    My facebook feed has become a wasteland of boring posts and people trying to promote their own new venture (businesses, bands, books, etc). The messenger service is pretty terrible as well. Gone are the days of the wild party photos or drunken status updates. Facebook ‘05/06 was glorious. Now that everyone actually cares about their online persona, it’s terribly vanilla, save for the random train wrecks. It’s become a massive time suck; the equivalent of repeatedly opening the fridge to find something to eat, only to realize there’s really nothing in there.

    Rant off. Tl;dr version: Email > IM > Text > Beers > Phone > Facebook. For reference, I’m 29, and should be counted among one of those young whippersnappers.

  20. - Todd - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 3:41 pm:

    depending on the day, I can receive a lot of emails. And it has become the electronic leash.

    Oh how I wish for rotary phones again.

  21. - Stuff happens - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    Back in 1996 I was getting about 3000 emails/day at work, with an equal number from home. The number went up to 10000/day at work in 1997, so I quit (I was an email administrator who had to manage user bounce messages, etc.)

    My personal emails were largely from Internet mailing lists, and those have died for the most part. Everyone is moving to online forums or hybrid sites like Facebook. Now I get a few hundred emails per day and often click ‘reload’ or send myself a test just to make sure something isn’t broken if nothing has shown up for a while. :D

  22. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 3:50 pm:

    I have two separate e-mail accounts, my personal e-mail I get notifications for through my smart phone, which I check daily. My work e-mail which is monitored and used exclusively for communication by my administrators, which I’m required to check multiple times during the work day on my staff issued computer. I can check both e-mails at home using my laptop. I conduct all my work and personal business by e-mail. I use texting and direct calls for friends and family.

  23. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t have a computer. I don’t have e-mail. Talk to my staff, you know who I mean, but don’t use my name.

    My superior brain is sending this message.

    Track that, why don’t you!

  24. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    Email at work is always on. I get about 150-200 a day and simply zip most of them. At home…I get to it every couple of days..maybe.

  25. - Jimbo(JF) - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    Read most email on my Android phone. Use it for consulting, staying in touch with professional colleagues and friends. Ebay sales, pleasure (a Rolling Stones listserv) and various announcements. Probably 150-300 messages a day.

  26. - Jimbo(JF) - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    I’d add, if I want my kids to respond I send them a text message.

  27. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 4:54 pm:

    I work for a university. We require students to check their university email addresses. I’m not sure how often, but it’s required as most official communications from the U are done via email. This includes everything from messages from the president of the university to overdue notices from the library. “I didn’t see the email” is not a valid excuse for anything here.

  28. - Old and In The Way - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 5:43 pm:

    Agree with much of what you say but the crack about France? I assume you think that they are somehow old fashioned or technically challenged. FYI their telecommunications infrastructure is vastly superior to US and the precursor to the Internet was something called Minitele and it predates us and the Internet by at least ten years! Believe me they are at least on an even par with the US technologically and in some ways superior… least they were two weeks ago when I was there.

  29. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Jun 25, 13 @ 8:00 pm:

    Mr. Zorn may be onto something–boy do they text and hit the Facebook and Twitter, but e-mailing not as popular with the younger adult crowd, although hardly defunct. Older fogies like my wife and I (but just speaking for us) still try to check e-mail at least once every day (or two if extra busy) however, and the UNscientific Poll results seem to back this idea up….

  30. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 2:48 am:

    =Older workers don’t text, they don’t check email frequently, they don’t like to use video chat or chat services, they use phones way too much.=

    Maybe in your world. If you’re going to make such a general(and irresponsible) statement about an entire segment of the US workforce, why don’t you tell us what business you’re in so that we have some context?

    My professional use varies depending on my role on a project, as is probably true of anyone who works for larger organizations. Communication has a purpose and intended audience–and same generally determines the method.

    For example, when I’m working with overseas groups, my use of email generally goes up substantially for the day-to-day things, depending on where they are and how much our business hours overlap. (The overlaps are often minimal (since they’re usually “hourly” v. salaried) so that time is often reserved for standing meetings. Many less urgent and instructive or directive “domestic” comms are handled via email as well because local resources are seldom located in one office anymore.

    Personally, I never use email to communicate with friends or family. I see it as way, way too impersonal.

  31. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 26, 13 @ 3:01 am:

    And, BTW, I didn’t take the poll because I didn’t know how to respond re: various accounts when there are such dramatic differences in use (aside from answering twice to address personal v. biz).

    However, I can understand the speculation re: whether email is dead. It was the same way for many of us who were hooked up to cell phones (”portable” and car) long before most people had them for business. Seldom wanted or needed them for personal use then and that’s still true today. That’s also probably why some of us only switched a negligible amount of our personal comms to email when the app became broader.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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