Email addiction: The seven signs you’ve got it
Hi, I’m Kelly, and I have an email addiction. How do I know? Because I meet every single one of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) standards for addiction (explained lay-people terms here). This is the definition used by doctors, people! And I bet you have one, too. Take a little quiz and find out:
- Tolerance. Do you find yourself needing increasing amounts of email just to live your life?
- Withdrawal. Do you become irritable or anxious when you have to be away from your email? Or do you simply avoid these symptoms by checking it every five minutes, even from the bathroom?
- Difficulty controlling your use. Can you stop after a few emails, or does one email lead to more?
- Negative consequences. Do you continue to email even though it negatively affects your mood, health or family life?
- Neglecting or postponing activities. Do you put off or reduce other activities to focus on your email?
- Spending significant time or emotional energy. Do you spend a significant amount of time using or thinking about using email? Do you ever try to conceal or minimize your use? (Ahem, under-the-dinner-table phone checkers, this is you.)
- Desire to cut down. Do you wish you could control your email use? Have you made unsuccessful attempts to control it?
So, the first step is admitting you have a (#firstworld) problem. The next step getting help. Let’s pool our resources — share your best solutions in the comments. I’ll start by sharing five suggestions on treating email addiction, including a no-email day.