Welcome to our digital detoxing series! A series on how to stop addictions toFortnite,Facebook,Instagram,porn,Netflix, Youtube,Tinder… Findall the posts about digital addiction. Today, let’s talk about how to quit the email addiction.
- What’s the email addiction?
- Addiction to email, a “real” addiction?
- What’s considered email addiction
- How much email is too much?
- Some technology addiction facts & statistics
- Symptoms & Causes of the email addiction
- Why is email so addictive?
- Possible causes of email dependency
- Symptoms, Causes and Signs of email addiction
- Problems, impacts & bad effects of email
- Some benefits of email
- health problems
- impact on brain & mental health
- impact on relationships
- How to stop & quit your email addiction
- Main steps and solutions to break the email addiction
- Best email blocker apps & functionalities
- where to seek extra help?
- To Go Further
- How to help someone with email addiction
- Best books about technology addiction
- Research about technology addiction
What is the email addiction?
Email is a way to send and receive digital messages between people using the internet. It allows for quick and convenient communication through the use of email addresses.
Addiction to email, a “real” addiction?
Officially an addiction?
First, let’s have a look to the DSM-5,the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Does it includes email addiction?
No, email addiction is not listed as a specific disorder in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition). However, it may fall under the category of internet addiction disorder, which is currently listed in the DSM-5 as a condition that requires further research.
So what means “email addiction”?
Email addiction refers to a compulsive need to check and respond to emails frequently, even when it is not necessary or productive. It is a behavioral addiction that can interfere with personal and professional life, leading to a sense of anxiety, stress, and distraction. People with email addiction may feel a strong urge to check their email inbox constantly, even during social activities, meals, or leisure time. They may also experience symptoms of withdrawal when they are unable to access their email, such as restlessness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Email addiction can be caused by various factors, including work overload, fear of missing important messages, and the need for constant validation and feedback.
What is considered email addiction?
- 1. Constantly checking for new emails: Someone who is addicted to email will frequently check their inbox throughout the day, even if they don’t expect any new messages.
- 2. Difficulty disconnecting: An email addict can find it challenging to disconnect from their email, even in situations where it’s not appropriate to be checking messages.
- 3. Anxiety when unable to access email: If someone feels anxious or stressed when they can’t access their email, it could be a sign of addiction.
- 4. Prioritizing email over other activities: If someone consistently prioritizes checking and responding to emails over other activities, it could indicate an addiction.
- 5. Neglecting personal relationships: If someone’s email use is causing them to neglect their personal relationships, it could be a sign of addiction.
- 6. Spending excessive time on email: If someone spends an excessive amount of time on email, to the point where it interferes with their work or personal life, it could be a sign of addiction.
- 7. Difficulty concentrating: If someone has difficulty concentrating on tasks because they are constantly checking their email, it could be a sign of addiction.
How much email is too much?
The amount of time spent on email can vary depending on your job and responsibilities. However, as a general rule, spending more than 2-3 hours per day on email can be considered too much. It is important to prioritize your tasks and allocate your time effectively, so that you can focus on important projects and avoid getting bogged down by an overflowing inbox. Setting aside specific times of the day to check and respond to emails can also help to manage your time more efficiently.
Some technology addiction facts & statistics
Technology addiction is a growing concern in today’s world. Here are some statistics related to technology addiction:
- 1. According to a 2019 survey by Common Sense Media, 50% of teens feel addicted to their mobile devices.
- 2. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 28% of adults in the US feel they are constantly online.
- 3. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 43% of Americans are constantly checking their electronic devices for email, texts, or social media updates.
- 4. A survey conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK found that social media is the most addictive technology, with 63% of respondents reporting that they check their social media accounts at least once a day.
- 5. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland, students were asked to give up all technology for 24 hours. Many of the participants experienced withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and even physical symptoms such as headaches.
- 6. A study conducted by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that excessive use of mobile phones can lead to sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety.
- 7. According to the World Health Organization, internet addiction disorder (IAD) is a real condition that can have serious negative consequences on an individual’s mental and physical health.
Is the email addiction widespread?
Yes, there are many people who are addicted to email. With the increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices, email has become a constant presence in people’s lives. Many people feel the need to constantly check their emails, even outside of work hours, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. This addiction to email can also lead to decreased productivity, as people may spend too much time responding to emails instead of focusing on other tasks.
Symptoms, Causes and Signs of email addiction
Why is email so addictive?
Email can be addictive for several reasons:
- 1. Instant gratification: Email provides a quick and easy way to communicate with others, allowing us to receive instant feedback and responses.
- 2. Fear of missing out (FOMO): Many people feel the need to constantly check their email in order to stay on top of their work and personal lives, and to avoid missing important messages.
- 3. Dopamine release: Every time we receive a new email, our brain releases a small amount of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can create a cycle of checking our email for that “feel-good” rush.
- 4. Productivity pressure: Many people feel pressure to constantly stay on top of their email in order to be productive and responsive.
Overall, email can be addictive because it provides us with a sense of control, productivity, and social connection, all of which can be rewarding and satisfying.
Possible causes of email dependency
Email addiction can have various causes, including:
- 1. Fear of missing out (FOMO): People tend to check their email frequently because they are worried about missing an important message or opportunity.
- 2. Need for control: Some individuals feel the need to constantly check their email to maintain a sense of control over their work or personal life.
- 3. Work pressure: People who have high-pressure jobs may feel compelled to check their email frequently to stay on top of their workload.
- 4. Social pressure: In some workplaces, there may be a culture of checking email frequently, which can lead to email addiction.
- 5. Anxiety: People with anxiety may feel the need to check their email frequently to alleviate their anxiety about missing important messages.
- 6. Dopamine rush: Checking email can also provide a dopamine rush, which can become addictive over time.
- 7. Lack of boundaries: People who do not set boundaries between work and personal life may find it difficult to disconnect from work-related emails outside of working hours.
- 8. Technology dependence: Our dependence on digital technology can also contribute to email addiction.
Signs & Symptoms of email addiction
Now let’s see if you have the email addiction problem.
- 1. You check your email constantly throughout the day, even when you are supposed to be doing other tasks.
- 2. You feel anxious or stressed if you haven’t checked your email in a while.
- 3. You prioritize checking and responding to emails over other important tasks or activities.
- 4. You have multiple email accounts, and you check them all regularly.
- 5. You feel the need to respond to emails immediately, even if they are not urgent or important.
- 6. Your inbox is always full, and you struggle to keep it organized.
- 7. You spend a significant amount of time composing and editing emails, even for simple messages.
Problems, impacts & bad effects of email: should you quit?
What are some benefits of email
- 1. Speed and Efficiency: Email is a fast and efficient way to communicate with others. You can send a message to someone on the other side of the world in just seconds.
- 2. Cost-effective: Email is free, unlike traditional mail where you have to pay for postage and paper.
- 3. Accessibility: You can access your email from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it easy to stay connected even when you are traveling or away from the office.
- 4. Organization: Email allows you to organize your messages in a way that is easy to manage. You can create folders and labels to keep track of important messages.
- 5. Record Keeping: Email provides a record of communication that can be easily searched and referenced at a later date.
- 6. Personalization: Email allows you to personalize your messages with fonts, images, and links.
- 7. Collaboration: Email makes it easy to collaborate with others, whether you are working on a project or communicating with a team.
- 8. Marketing: Email marketing is an effective way to reach potential customers and promote your business.
- 9. Privacy: Email provides a level of privacy that traditional mail does not. You can choose who you want to send a message to and keep your communication confidential.
Overall, email is a great communication tool that offers many advantages and benefits.But at the opposite, what can be some email addiction problems addicts suffer from?
general health problems
Email can have both positive and negative effects on health, depending on how it is used. Here are some of the potential effects:
– Email can facilitate communication and collaboration, which can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
– Email can provide a convenient way to stay in touch with friends and family who are far away, which can promote social support and reduce feelings of isolation.
– Email can provide access to health information and support groups, which can help people manage health conditions and make informed decisions about their health.
– Email can be a source of stress, as people feel pressure to respond quickly and keep up with a constant stream of messages.
– Email can interfere with sleep if people check their email before bedtime or wake up to check their email during the night.
– Email can contribute to sedentary behavior, as people spend long periods of time sitting and staring at screens while reading and responding to messages.
Overall, the effects of email on health depend on how it is used and how individuals manage their email habits. It is important to set boundaries and prioritize self-care to avoid negative effects.
email and sleep disorder
Email itself cannot create sleep disorders or sleep problems, but the use of email before bedtime can contribute to sleep problems by disrupting the body’s natural sleep cycle. The blue light emitted by electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Additionally, checking emails before bed can increase stress and anxiety levels, which can also interfere with sleep. It is recommended to avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime to promote better sleep.
email affecting your brain & mental health: bad for brain and mental health?
Some effects of email on your brain
- 1. Information overload: With the constant flow of emails, our brains can become overwhelmed with information. This can lead to decision fatigue, making it harder to make decisions and prioritize tasks.
- 2. Distraction: Email notifications can be a constant source of distraction, pulling our attention away from the task at hand. This can lead to decreased productivity and difficulty focusing.
- 3. Multitasking: Checking and responding to emails while trying to complete other tasks can lead to multitasking, which has been shown to decrease productivity and increase stress levels.
- 4. Stress: The pressure to respond quickly to emails can lead to increased stress levels, which can have negative effects on your physical and mental health.
- 5. Addiction: Constantly checking and responding to emails can lead to addiction, making it difficult to disconnect and relax.
- 6. Reduced creativity: Focusing too much on emails can stifle creativity and limit problem-solving abilities.
- 7. Reduced social skills: Over-reliance on email communication can lead to a decrease in social skills, making it harder to communicate effectively in face-to-face settings.
Some effects of email on your mental health
- 1. Email overload: Receiving too many emails can lead to stress and overwhelm, as it can be difficult to keep up with the constant flow of messages.
- 2. Distraction: Constantly checking and responding to emails can be a major distraction, causing a lack of focus and decreased productivity.
- 3. Anxiety: The pressure to constantly check and respond to emails can lead to anxiety, as individuals may feel like they are always “on-call” and unable to disconnect from work.
- 4. Addiction: Checking email can become addictive, leading to a compulsive need to constantly check for new messages.
- 5. Information overload: Being bombarded with too much information through emails can be overwhelming and lead to cognitive overload, making it difficult to process and retain important information.
- 6. Miscommunication: Misunderstandings and miscommunication can occur through email, as tone and context can be difficult to convey through written text.
- 7. Burnout: The constant pressure to check and respond to emails can lead to burnout, causing individuals to feel exhausted and emotionally drained.
Does email cause stress and anxiety?
Yes, email can cause stress or anxiety for some individuals. Here are a few reasons why:
- 1. Information overload: With so many emails coming in, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of them. This can lead to feeling stressed or anxious about falling behind on important emails.
- 2. Urgency: Some emails may require an urgent response, which can create pressure and anxiety for the recipient.
- 3. Miscommunication: Emails can sometimes be misinterpreted, leading to confusion or conflict. This can cause stress and anxiety for both the sender and the recipient.
- 4. Work-life balance: Constantly checking and responding to emails outside of work hours can blur the line between work and personal time, leading to feelings of stress and burnout.
Overall, while email can be a helpful communication tool, it’s important to set boundaries and manage email use to avoid feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
Can email addiction lead to sadness and depression?
Yes, excessive use of email and the internet can lead to sadness and depression. This is because email addiction can disrupt sleep patterns, decrease physical activity, and reduce face-to-face interactions with others. Over time, these factors can contribute to feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression.
Additionally, email addiction can lead to constant feelings of stress and anxiety, as individuals feel the need to constantly check and respond to emails, leading to burnout and exhaustion. It is important to manage email use and prioritize self-care to prevent email addiction from negatively impacting mental health.
Dopamine and email
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in feelings of pleasure and reward. When we receive a new email, our brain releases a small amount of dopamine, which can give us a sense of satisfaction or excitement. This is why some people may feel a compulsion to constantly check their email, as they are seeking that dopamine rush. However, this can also lead to email addiction and distraction from other tasks. It is important to strike a balance between checking email regularly and not letting it consume too much of our time and attention.
email effects on Focus, productivity, attention span, academic performance…
Yes, email can affect focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance in several ways. Here are some of the ways email can affect these aspects:
- 1. Distraction: Email notifications can be distracting, and constantly checking and responding to emails can interrupt your work or study flow and reduce your focus and productivity.
- 2. Multitasking: Email can encourage multitasking, which can decrease your productivity and increase errors.
- 3. Procrastination: Email can be a form of procrastination, and spending too much time on emails can reduce the time you have for other important tasks.
- 4. Stress: Email can cause stress and anxiety, especially if you receive a lot of emails or have deadlines to meet.
- 5. Time management: Poor email management can lead to missed deadlines, forgotten tasks, and a lack of focus on important work or study tasks.
Overall, it is important to manage your email usage effectively to avoid negative impacts on your focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance.
A word about ADHD and email
Yes, people with ADHD may interact differently with email than those without ADHD. Some common characteristics of ADHD that might affect email interactions include:
- 1. Difficulty with organization: People with ADHD may struggle to keep their email inbox organized, leading to missed or forgotten messages.
- 2. Impulsivity: People with ADHD may be more likely to send emails impulsively, without taking the time to fully consider their message or the recipient’s perspective.
- 3. Distraction: People with ADHD may be more easily distracted by other tasks or notifications while checking their email, leading to incomplete or delayed responses.
- 4. Hyperfocus: On the other hand, some people with ADHD may become hyperfocused on checking and responding to emails, leading to a potential distraction from other tasks or responsibilities.
Overall, the way a person with ADHD interacts with email may depend on individual symptoms and coping strategies. Some may find tools like email filters or reminders helpful in staying organized, while others may benefit from setting limits on email checking to avoid distraction.
affecting your relationships
email and self-esteem
Email can have both positive and negative effects on self-esteem. Here are some ways email may impact self-esteem:
- 1. Positive feedback: Receiving positive feedback or compliments via email can boost self-esteem. This can include receiving praise for a job well done or receiving a message thanking you for your support.
- 2. Negative feedback: On the flip side, receiving negative feedback or criticism via email can lower self-esteem. This can include receiving a message pointing out your mistakes or shortcomings.
- 3. Comparison: Seeing emails from others who seem to have it all together can lead to feelings of inadequacy and lower self-esteem.
- 4. Overwhelm: Being inundated with emails can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact self-esteem.
- 5. Avoidance: Avoiding emails due to fear of negative feedback or overwhelm can lead to feelings of guilt and lower self-esteem.
Overall, how email affects self-esteem will depend on the individual’s perception of the messages they receive and their coping mechanisms for managing their email.
email addiction leads to isolation and loneliness?
Yes, email addiction can lead to isolation and loneliness. When someone becomes addicted to checking and responding to their emails, they may spend excessive amounts of time on their computer or phone, which can lead to a lack of social interaction with others. They may also prioritize their email over spending time with friends and family, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and disconnection. In some cases, email addiction can also cause anxiety and stress, which can further contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Effects of email on your relationship
Positive effects of email on relationships:
- 1. Communication: Email provides a quick and easy way to communicate with your partner, especially when you are in a long-distance relationship. It allows you to share thoughts, feelings, and updates with each other in real-time.
- 2. Record Keeping: Emails can serve as a record of your conversations and can be referred back to in the future. This can be helpful in resolving any misunderstandings that may occur.
- 3. Convenience: Email is a convenient way to communicate, as you can send and receive messages at any time and from any location.
Negative effects of email on relationships:
- 1. Miscommunication: Email can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication, especially if the tone of the message is not clear. It is easy to misinterpret the tone of an email, which can lead to conflict.
- 2. Overreliance: Overreliance on email can make partners feel distant from each other. It is important to balance email communication with face-to-face interactions.
- 3. Privacy concerns: Emails are not always secure, and there is a risk of personal information being intercepted or hacked. This can lead to trust issues in the relationship.
How To Stop & quit Your email Addiction
Finally you think you are addicted to email and you are wondering how to quit it? How to break and overcome your cravings for email?
Here are the best solutions, steps, supports, resources and help you can get to treat your email addiction.
Main steps and solutions to break the email addiction
- 1. Recognize the problem: The first step is to admit that you have an email addiction and to acknowledge the negative impact it’s having on your productivity, well-being, and relationships.
- 2. Set boundaries: Create a schedule for checking your email and stick to it. You can also turn off email notifications on your phone and computer.
- 3. Prioritize: Don’t let email control your day. Prioritize your tasks and allocate specific times to check email.
- 4. Unsubscribe: Unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists and newsletters to reduce the amount of incoming emails.
- 5. Delegate: If possible, delegate email tasks to someone else, such as an assistant or colleague.
- 6. Organize: Create a system for organizing your emails, such as creating folders or using labels, to help you quickly find and respond to important messages.
- 7. Take breaks: Take regular breaks from email and do something else that you enjoy, such as reading a book or going for a walk.
Remember that breaking an addiction takes time and effort, but with persistence and consistency, you can successfully overcome email addiction and improve your overall productivity and well-being.
Actually, that’s what most documentation out there is about… However, quitting a digital addiction can be a bit trickier than that.
So our team, after testing many ways, designed a bulletproof way to overcome them. Here are some clear and practical steps that are very powerful to quit a digital addiction, including email:
1. Purge temptations: Get rid of email
First, cleaning your life from temptations is much easier than resisting to them. Disable or delete your email accounts, change the password and hide it somewhere you can’t access easily, keep your phone / computer far away… Out of sight out of mind.
Here is a video from our course the The Digital Purge. on how to add resistance to your temptations, so you become so lazy to engage with them that you give them up: