If you're like the majority of people in a new survey, e-mail is "essential" to your life. So essential, actually, that many people say they would give up deodorant, coffee, or their significant other for a day rather than go without sending and receiving messages.
"This survey yielded many surprising and compelling results about how important e-mail is to our users," said Jeff Holzmann, executive VP of IncrediMail, in an interview. The software company surveyed 10,000 of its users about the role of e-mail in their daily lives.
The survey showed that 73.8% of those polled say e-mail is essential to their life. When asked what they would rather give up for a day instead of losing e-mail, 54.4% said they would rather forgo chocolate, while 50.2% said they would give up coffee, and 41.4% would pass on television. Another 38.4% would skip using their cell phone for a day.
These might be small things to give up, but the survey also showed that 14.9% of those polled would rather live without their spouse or significant other than go without e-mail, and 6% said they would rather lose their home.
The survey also showed that people are spending an awful lot of time sending and reading e-mails. Of those polled, 59.8% said they spend more time working with e-mail than they do on the phone, while 51% said they spend more time with e-mail than they do working out. Maybe most surprisingly, 12% said they spend less time sleeping than they do with e-mail.
According to the survey, e-mail is an integral part of people's business lives, but it's also a critical component to their personal lives, giving them a way to handle both lighthearted and delicate conversations. Nearly 50% of respondents said they have used an e-mail in a prank or to joke with a friend or colleague. Another 19% have started or advanced a romantic relationship via e-mail, while 7% have ended a relationship the same way. Similarly, 3.7% of respondents have ended a business relationship by firing someone through e-mail.