Sometimes, I wonder if I should be in a 12 step program. Hi, my name is Craig and I'm addicted to email. I'm not trying to minimize or ridicule people with "real" addictions. I'm saying this to make a point. Sometimes, I really wonder if my addiction to email is negatively affecting my life. Too many times I find that I can't function without it. I have the hardest time disconnecting. It's come to the point where I've even noticed that when I need to focus on something intense, part of my brain is still working away wondering whether I've gotten any new emails in the meantime. I simply can't focus like I used to. It's become so hard for me to get myself to stop and actually "do work". Frightening, I know.
However, I can't believe this is just me. I wonder how many others of us are there out there? According to the AOL Mail's annual survey, which is loaded with statistics showing that the use of e-mail has, in many cases, crossed over the line into dependence. 62 percent of people check their work email accounts over the weekend, almost half claim that they are "addicted" (up from 15 percent last year) and nearly one fifth say that they specifically choose vacation spots that provide access to the Internet, just so they can check their mail! So, I'm not alone!
But, what does knowing this really do for me? Or any of us? The reality is our reality has changed. And I believe forever. This is another example of our "new normal". Email and texting are now the preferred method of communications. So, we just have to figure out how to manage this without becoming addicted and without having to go through total withdrawal to keep our balance.