Email 'becomes huge burden' to computer users



Researchers have concluded email has become an increasing burden on computer users - with the power to ruin their personal lives.

A study of 26,000 users claims to have found the existence of Pre and Post-Mail Tension, which derives from misunderstanding emails and the fear that private messages could be circulated around the office.

According to the Yahoo! Mail survey, 52% say they struggle to interpret personal emails, 12% admitted having an argument with a friend over an email misunderstanding, and 2% said they'd broken up with a partner over email misinterpretation.

Other findings include 28% live in fear of personal emails being sent to the boss by mistake, and 61% of workers are afraid of a friend forwarding personal emails which then spread like wildfire online.

Researchers say PPMT was noticeable amongst those who used email as a flirting tool.

Three-quarters of people questioned admitted to using email to impress people they fancy. Women even preferred to make the first contact with those they fancied by email.

The survey also revealed 64% had problems concentrating if waiting for an email reply from someone they liked, 51% wasted time constantly checking for a reply, and 35% confessed stalling while struggling and agonising over a witty reply to impress the recipient.

Helen Petrie, Professor of Human Computer Interaction at City University said: "The problem we have of PPMT revealed by these statistics is caused not by email itself, but how people let their anticipation and expectation get the better of them."

Yahoo! Mail has set up an email masterclass microsite to educate users in how to avoid common pitfalls. he website is:


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Legislation was put in place in 2001 allowing companies to monitor staff's email. The answer seems pretty easy to me. :rolleyes: