Would You Give Up Deodorant Or A Spouse For E-Mail?

A survey shows that people would be willing to forgo a lot of things rather than give up e-mail. They'd say "see yah" to coffee, TV, and even their homes.
How addicted to e-mail are you?

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.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing