Ninety percent of email users admit to checking their email compulsively--behavior that includes checking email first thing in the morning, last thing at night, during meals and even during conversations, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans by My.com, a subsidiary of Mail.Ru Group.
While users are more and more addicted to email, the survey indicated security concerns are still a major worry for consumers.
Despite advances in spam-fighting technology, 60 percent of survey respondents admit to having lost important messages due to spam, and an astonishing 64 percent admitted to having closed an email account altogether due to frustration with excessive spam.
This addiction to email is also having negative emotional effects on consumers, with more than one-quarter (27 percent) admitting they had lost sleep due to stress related to emails.
However, that doesn’t mean people are checking their email any less—or waiting for an appropriate time to do so. Survey respondents regularly admitted to checking email during other activities such as during concerts and movies—8 percent admit to checking it "after sex."
Just under three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents said they check email first thing in the morning, 48 percent check it during lunch, more than one-quarter (27 percent) check during dinner and the majority 56 percent said they check their email as the last thing they do before bedtime.
While 67 percent of mobile email users enable push notifications, only 54 percent adjust them, indicating push notifications are underused by consumers.
The survey also indicated email users are spread across several accounts, with just one-third of respondents owning a single email account, and 27 percent of Internet users said they have three or more accounts.
With 70 percent of email users checking email on their mobile device, consumers appear to rely on email to stay connected to conversations and information.
In addition, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of Internet users want to know about new messages the moment they hit the inbox, so they turn on push notifications.
"We are seeing this paradox where people use email, but don’t feel that it meets their modern, mobile needs," said Dmitry Grishin, co-founder and CEO of Mail.Ru Group. "To make email better, we needed to move beyond the stale iteration tied to traditional desktops and go mobile-first and mobile-only."
The report also revealed, perhaps unsurprisingly, that email is here to stay, with an expected 27 percent increase (to 4.9 billion from 3.9 billion) in email accounts worldwide expected in 2014.