What’s the Latest Development?
Email use has gotten out of hand, which in its ever-present state is taking up too much of our time and, frankly, making us a little crazy. “Last year, Royal Pingdom, which monitors Internet usage, said that in 2010, 107 trillion e-mails were sent. A report this year from the Radicati Group, a market research firm, found that in 2011, there were 3.1 billion active e-mail accounts in the world. The report noted that, on average, corporate employees sent and received 105 e-mails a day.” Despite the filters which aim to keep our inbox manageable, they can quickly balloon beyond the capacity of any human with a life apart from email.
What’s the Big Idea?
Unlike instant messenger or chat functions, which require people to be present to participate, email is an asynchronous technology, meaning more messages pile up the longer you are away. This unrelenting presence is causing us stress, says Gloria Mark, an informatics professor who studies multi-tasking in the workplace. Mark recently co-authored a paper which concluded that “people who did not look at e-mail regularly at work were less stressed and more productive than others.” Younger generations are already looking past email, which they describe as too slow and taking too long to read.
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