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Emailaholics Reveal Their Habits

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the wonder-which-group-i'm-in dept.

Communications 95

KentuckyFC writes "People can be accurately classified according to their email habits, say scientists from Yahoo Research in NYC, who have been studying the way 125,000 people use email on university campuses in the US and Europe. The team found that people fall into two clearly distinct types of emailer. The first group, 'day labororers,' tend to send emails throughout the normal working day between 0900 and 1800 but not at other times. On the other hand, 'emailaholics' tend to send emails throughout the waking hours from 0900 to 0100. These groups are pretty stable: roughly 75% of users stay in the same group over a two-year period. That gives a pretty good way of classifying individuals that could be used by demographers. Interestingly, the technique can also be used to spot spambots which do not fit into either group."

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95 comments

I Don't Know If I Buy This (2, Interesting)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906143)

My email habits change very frequently. Where do I fit in?

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (5, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906205)

You should start by admitting you have a problem.

"I'm an emailaholic. I drink 4 bottles of emailahol every day."

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27906297)

If you were an emailaholic you'd be drinking a fifth of emailahol a day - not showing up for work, getting fired, ruining your relationships, having an email in the morning to get going, just one big fucking nightmare of a life.

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (1)

baubo (1310237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27917577)

I'm not an emailaholic. I can quit any time I want. Also I email to make myself more interesting, and have recently noticed that the more I email, the better looking members of the opposite sex get.

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (1)

mokumegane (926087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924413)

If you were an emailaholic you'd be drinking a fifth of emailahol a day - not showing up for work, getting fired, ruining your relationships, having an email in the morning to get going, just one big fucking nightmare of a life.

Zomg, this description fits my mother to a T!- wait... she does still have a job... but she stays up about four hours past her bedtime to do email...

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27908363)

I'm an emaiLOLaholic. I lol at those day laboRORers.

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (5, Insightful)

SlashDotDotDot (1356809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906265)

These groups are pretty stable: roughly 75% of users stay in the same group over a 2 year period.

My email habits change very frequently. Where do I fit in?

You fit into the other 25%.

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27907187)

You are obviously a spambot.

I'm kind of like an emailoholic.... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27911745)

...except with booze instead of email.

(apologies to The Onion)

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919059)

Spambot

Re:I Don't Know If I Buy This (1)

mokumegane (926087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924381)

Mine don't... I email at 6am to 7am all the time. If I don't get it done then (the wasted time while yelling at my daughter to get ready for school... aka, if I do much for myself, she won't get ready in time) then I don't do it. I figure too much emailing is frivolous but that could be because I have a mother who emails so freaking much that I end up getting each thing she sends about five times- one from each email addy she has. I'd like to put her on my spam mail list but she'd know...

Anonymous Cowards are cool! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27906157)

That's really intersting.

I'm not sure how it would be used to prevent spam though, unless it is used on the system sending the spam.

After all, how do you know a) which group a person fits in, and b) what time it is where they are?

Also, what do you do about people who work night shifts, and thus don't fit into one of the patterns?

Re:Anonymous Cowards are cool! (4, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906375)

If this finds widespread use, it won't last long anyway:
The spambots will start keeping regular working hours ;-)

Re:Anonymous Cowards are cool! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27906875)

Good idea, thanks!

Re:Anonymous Cowards are cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27917321)

They already do. Any examination of the logs for my (or I suspect anyone else's) spam filters will show that there is a concentration of spam delivery (or attempts at least) on a very definite cycle. I'm sure it varies depending on what time zone you happen to be in, but mine seems to be between 2:00 and 7:00 AM. There's plenty to go around the rest of the time as well, but there is a huge spike in that time range. What's all the bruhaha about someone actually quantifying it?

I do agree however that as soon as someone decides that they can use that as a qualifier to block/pass mail the spammers will shift it. They are somewhat limited however in that doing so while using the botnets they currently own my trigger the awareness of the PC user/owner since it will now be utilizing system resources in contention with the normal user's working hours.

Overly simplistic criteria (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906161)

So basically anybody that uses e-mail outside of working hours is an "emailholic"? Doesn't that include pretty much every person who has a computer at home?

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (4, Interesting)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906257)

if you look at the graph in TFA, there appears to be a third small cluster in the region of the 'A' marker, which is people who start emailing early evening, and finish late at night, which i guess is those who use their e-mail accounts at home after work

there is not much info about the email accounts montiored. Im guessing the day labourors are those who use their account just for work, with a sperate for personal stuff, and the emailaholics are those with one universal address. The subgroup i pointed out could then represent the personal accounts for the day labourors

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906601)

So where does my old supervisor fit in? I'd send him a paper/book chapter/thesis at midnight and he'd send me revisions by 4 am.

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (5, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906765)

According to the article that makes both of you spambots.

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27909381)

So? That's nothing special. Anyone with half a brain knows that machines have been posting on /. for years. Hell, I'm nothing more than an Aibo wired up to a leaf blower and an old Amiga!

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907693)

Was the paper about h3rb4l v14gr4?

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27909119)

Or maybe that explains that line in the data from x=0100,y=0100 to x=0800,y=0800. People who email 24 hours a day, and never sleep.

Not as Simplistic as the Article Implies (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906261)

So basically anybody that uses e-mail outside of working hours is an "emailholic"? Doesn't that include pretty much every person who has a computer at home?

Well, from the PDF linked on arxiv [arxiv.org] :

The cascading non-homogeneous Poisson process we present is motivated by two key observations: first, individuals send e-mail during "sessions" of relatively high activity that are separated by periods of inactivity during which no emails are sent; and second, the likelihood of commencing an active session is modulated by daily and weekly cycles. For convenience, we define the start and end of a session by the first and last e-mails sent in that session respectively. We define an individual as "active" if they are in an e-mail session, where the time between consecutive e-mails within each session is modeled as a homogeneous Poisson process with intra-session rate p_a. Correspondingly, we define an individual as "passive" if they are between e-mail sessions, where the time between sessions is modeled as a non-homogeneous Poisson process with inter-session rate p(t), which explicitly accounts for daily and weekly cycles of activity.

The paper seems to identify when you're in a session and when you're not and also extrapolates these cycles not only to days but also to times of the week.

While it's not very useful, it my be interesting to behaviorists or some field I know nothing about. It's always dangerous to grab a graph from a paper with no explanation at all of what it is showing.

Re:Not as Simplistic as the Article Implies (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907715)

So basically anybody that uses e-mail outside of working hours is an "emailholic"? Doesn't that include pretty much every person who has a computer at home?

The paper seems to identify when you're in a session and when you're not and also extrapolates these cycles not only to days but also to times of the week.

So anyone who has an e-mail capable smartphone and therefore doesn't engage in "sessions" is an "emailholic"?

Re:Not as Simplistic as the Article Implies (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908559)

They are less likely to be using Yahoo for their email than the general population.

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906709)

No. I have a computer at home and I almost never send emails when I am at home (except in emergency situations).

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27907803)

Dear Sir/Madam

Fire! Fire!
Help me!

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27907065)

I typically do an email to unwind after work. Maybe two. Quite a bit more on the weekends, though I don't binge email anymore. Grew out of that shit after college.

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

notarockstar1979 (1521239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907565)

Nope. I tend to use my phone when I'm at home.

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908209)

Good god no. Why would I want to email during my free time?

Re:Overly simplistic criteria (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27910781)

Maybe 1800-0100 is NOT *outside* working hours for some people - i.e. they're not emailaholics, they're WORKaholics.

Xaholics (3, Funny)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906175)

Is the "aholic" suffix really any worse than "-gate" for any scandal?

Re:Xaholics (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27906233)

Thank you for bringing our attention to this Aholicgate scandal, you Gateaholic.

Re:Xaholics (1)

auric_dude (610172) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907301)

Thank you for bringing our attention to this Aholicgate scandal, you Gateaholic.

Dude, you do have problems - using aholic as a prefix and a suffix.

Re:Xaholics (2, Funny)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908639)

Dude, you do have problems - using aholic as a prefix and a suffix.

Clearly an aholicaholic.

Re:Xaholics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27909095)

Stop being such an aholic ahole.

Re:Xaholics (2, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906249)

Is the "aholic" suffix really any worse than "-gate" for any scandal?

You sound like another email abuser who is in denial about your habit. You are in stage 3 of your addiction (Ref. Addictions Anonymous, 12: The Stages of Addiction and Recovery [thecheers.org] ).

Re:Xaholics (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906959)

My habit is not checking my email often enough. I tend to miss important messages like "today's class moved to room 3207".

Re:Xaholics (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918377)

Oh, so *that's* why nobody showed up.

Re:Xaholics (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907261)

What stage are you in when you wake up at say 3AM for a bathroom break (I am an old man.) and check your email before going back to bed?

Re:Xaholics (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908001)

I need to find a 9" wireless touch screen that will link to my computer. Just mount the touch screen in the can and life will be golden.

Re:Xaholics (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27911029)

If your life is golden, perhaps you should aim better in the can.

Re:Xaholics (2, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906829)

I guess that being an alcoholic is a step down from being a drug addict. I posit that an Addict is a term applied to someone who abuses something in a fashion that could get them sent to jail. I.E Sex Addicts and prostitutes, Drug addicts and controlled substances. While some college towns will have you believe that being drunk is a crime, getting sloshed is not provided you don't then do anything stupid (beat people, get into fights, drive, etc).

Since you can't get sent to jail for sending normal email, it gets the -aholic, I guess that spammers could be deemed spam addicts, but nobody has latched onto that.

Re:Xaholics (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907063)

Drunk in charge?

Sobriety addiction (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907293)

There are some people who are addicted to sobriety. They can't seem to be able to live a normal life without being sobre, and can't imagine another way of living. Adolf Hitler was one of those people who suffered from compulsive sobriety. Sobriety is one of the hidden mental illnesses, and AFAIK is not even recognized as a mental illness by the World Health Organization et al.

Re:Sobriety addiction (1)

p!ngu (854287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919515)

Is this actually a thing? It's a very interesting idea -- I'm someone who I guess is "addicted to sobreity", except for coffee. I'd like to read about it is all.

Thanks if you reply,

Sam.

Re:Sobriety addiction (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920473)

Is this actually a thing? It's a very interesting idea -- I'm someone who I guess is "addicted to sobreity", except for coffee. I'd like to read about it is all.

Addiction

It is, AFAIK a mental illness, based on the logic and experiences that I've read about addictions in general. I'm no expert on addiction or psychology, but I do have a social science background and I'm pretty keen at analyzing logic, so yep, I would say so. Of course you, or anybody else shouldn't take my word for it. Come to your own conclusions and keep an open mind. Be intelligent and skeptical at anything you observe.

Of course anything can be addictive, whether it be alcohol, chocolate, heroine, caffeine, religion, or even sobriety. It's not so much the "thing" that is addictive (alcohol does not have a conscience or will, so it can not be "addictive" in and of itself, nor can heroine or tobacco for that matter). The "addiction" lies in the brain. The casual reader may think my (original) statement is full of shit, but (I think, and hope) the thoughtful and perceptive reader will realize the logic of my statement.

The original premise of the idea of sobriety being addictive came to me when I heard about an anecdote about Adolf Hitler. The details elude my memory, but the concepts remained. The ideas that I remembered is that Hitler was a fanatical, anti-social, argumentative person that had no social vices (i.e. alcohol or tobacco). This person noticed that all his socially normal friends all had "vices"; they got drunk occasionally, they smoked, they even listened to forbidden jazz music under the Nazi regime. Based on my knowledge and experience with people (I'll emphasize my social science background for good measure, but will also emphasize that I am presenting my own interpretations and hypothesis here. The point I'm trying to make by pointing out my "science" background is that, at the very least, I dare any scientist to prove that my hypothesis is wrong or faulty. I've argued with some of the best on very issues).

So, in other words, an addiction can be described as an abnormal compulsion. Addicts often promote their own vices to other people. So people who insist that sobriety is normal and that non-sobriety is bad are therefore following there own addictive compulsions. Anthropological and historical data show that all societies have there mind and mood altering substances that they indulge in. This is a (statistically) normal part of humanity. Most people will indulge in mood and mind altering chemicals as part of a normal routine of socialization. Some people do it more often then others, some people do it in private, and some people have psychological compulsions to do it. The "illness" is not the specific behavior (alcohol, tobacco, heroine, or sobriety), but in the psychological compulsion to maintain the habit. I will emphasize here the specific characteristic of "addicts" to promote and evangelize their addictive tendencies and enthusiasms (which is a noted tendency in the earlier stages of addiction).

If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have met a sobriety addict, then you would have experienced the fact that they don't drink (in Western cultures) and that, amongst their closest friends and family members they will insist that drinking is not tolerated, especially if it will be deemed excessive (enough to make a person feel pleasure). So for example, they may tolerate a ritual glass of wine at Christmas, but they will not tolerate 3 or 4 glasses of wine.

I will use Western alcohol consumption as an example because this is what I am most familiar with. Parents, for example, who forbid their teenagers to drink will tend to have adult children who turn into alcoholics. This may seem contrary to the protestant christian conservativism of many families and cultures in places like the United States, but the scientific and statistical observations demonstrate that where a drug (alcohol in this case) is readily available and a component of the culture, and it is banned and demonized buy the family group then these children will not have any normal, cultural education to deal with the natural genetic tendency to alter their minds. There will, in other words, be a discrepancy between what the genes (brain) tells them to do and what their cultural upbringing tells them to do. In other words, children who are raised in a society with alcohol but are not socialized to deal with alcohol in a natural manner (like to drink it), but instead are subjected to demonetization and scare tactics will develop neurotic and potentially psychotic addictive behaviors towards alcohol as adults. In contrast, children, for example, in France, who are socialize to have wine with dinner and are socialized to be trustworthy and mature with alcohol will grow up to be casual non-alcoholic social drinkers. It's interesting that the same can be said for parents who insist on making their overweight children go on diets; if parents try to control their childrens' food intake by trying to forcibly (psychological manipulation, or what have you) stop them from eating, then these children will also develop eating disorders as adults (anorexia, bulimia, over-eating, etc). "Fatness" unfortunately is largely genetic. Of course diet plays a role (what you eat is more important than how much you eat), but trying to psychologically manipulate people against their genetic tendencies will ultimately lead to disaster.

So basically, I am talking about the brain here and social conditions which influence the brain. Sobriety in itself is not an addiction, neither is alcohol an addiction. I should have really said sobrietism (i.e. like alcoholism). It's a psychological problem. But perhaps even more importantly it is a social problem. The social problem isn't in the lack of laws to punish people from abusing themselves, but in the reality that people have to accept that everybody is different and that people need to have tolerance and use common sense and try to educate themselves (while trying to avoid all the POLITICAL PROPAGANDA that is often passed off as "education").

I hope this helps answer your question.

Re:Sobriety addiction (1)

p!ngu (854287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920869)

Hmm, it seems that (from your point of view) this sobretism is inexplicably linked with evangelism. However, it doesn't appear to me at least that this is a necessary criterion for other addictions. Is this the defining characteristic?

Sorry for such short responses -- I study mathematics, not social science, so I'm not so great with writing long texts.

(a lot of friends I formerly had were "straight edge", and some were pretty fanatical. Most were mellow, cool guys but, but others...hmm)

Thanks,

Sam.

Re:Sobriety addiction (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921399)

First off, I will make this very explicit; "sobrietism" is a word I pretty much invented. It's just an elaboration on the concept of "addiction". The main idea being that people can be psychologically addicted to anything. At the very least you can think of this idea as a concept. Logically (to me at least) it makes sense and explains the psychological mindset of prohibitionists and people in general who want to control other people (in this case the control variable who be alcohol or any mind/mood altering substance).

The concept is somewhat rhetorical, but as I've stated, I think it is logically coherent. The mental health profession has traditionally labeled behaviors which are socially or politically unacceptable as "illnesses", so I am using the same rationale to demonstrate that even (apparently) socially normal and acceptable behaviors can be interpreted as illnesses as well. The difference (or variable) is the degree to which one acts on their behaviors.

So, basically, being sober is normal. Fanaticism is not normal. Forcing sobriety on other people is not normal. Assuming the not being sober is abnormal is not normal. Having a compulsion to control people is not normal (prohibitionist attitudes and behaviors, punishment).

So basically, I am referring to irrational behaviors or beliefs. And more specifically people who act on their irrational behaviors and beliefs in order to control people. It can be labeled "fanaticism" or obsessive compulsive behavior. I will emphasize that these are my own interpretations. I'm sure mental health professionals who actually deal with people who are drug addicted may probably have major philosophical problems with my hypothesis.

The term "addiction" that I used here should probably be best viewed as a rhetorical device (as I've stated, I'm no expert, but rather just dealing with theoretical concepts). My actual intentions were more to challenge peoples assumptions rather than to try to define or prove peoples behaviors or motivations. I think of it more as a mental exercise rather than a scientific statement of fact.

I don't think I can elaborate further. My goal here is to make people (like yourself) think and challenge your assumptions. Things are usually never as straight forward as the status quo would have you believe; whether it be the scientific community, your teachers, or your preachers. You need to think for yourself here. Keep an open mind and never label people.

Best regards,

UTW

YES! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907001)

Is the "aholic" suffix really any worse

It's a grammargate!

But then again, I'm a lexivorous linguaholic...

Re:YES! (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908195)

Ah, a fellow lexiconnoisseur!

Re:YES! (1)

angster (657608) | more than 5 years ago | (#27949251)

But are you also a cunning linguaholic?

Re:Xaholics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27907189)

Is the "aholic" suffix really any worse than "-gate" for any scandal?

Yes. I propose declaring a war on it.

Re:Xaholics (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908033)

Is the "aholic" suffix really any worse than "-gate" for any scandal?

Yes. I propose declaring a war on it.

Agreed. I'll get the President to appoint a Czar immediately.

Re:Xaholics (1)

DrEasy (559739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27910373)

Yeah, let's not get aholicaholic now.

Re:Xaholics (1)

mokumegane (926087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924495)

Is the "aholic" suffix really any worse than "-gate" for any scandal?

So... is that why Bill's last name starts with gate? Hmm... certainly explains what he's doing with Microsoft, I suppose...

"People" is such a loaded word (3, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906183)

When I was a student we still corresponded with one another using paper and ink. There was none of this fancy computerized email. It was all email by hand back then, and if you were lucky, maybe your parents would foot the bill for a quill.

But the key here is not the manner in which we wrote each other. Rather, it is simply that living in the isolated world of "university life", we had totally different writing habits than those who lived in the "real world".

Take, for instance, the frequency of our letters. While I could average a good 4 or 5 letters per evening, it was because my workload was such that it permitted much more free time than the work-a-day man could ever hope to enjoy. Between classes and quaffing pints of ale, we still had plenty of time to enjoy each others' companionship, even if only through the quill.

Now, with real work and real timelines to meet, I find that I have very little extra time to sit down to write a letter out by hand.

Re:"People" is such a loaded word (2, Funny)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906511)

I don't know if its just a bad description but you are correct. "People" does not describe the control group. It is ambiguous at best, so we have no idea if our habits fall into this study.

Re:"People" is such a loaded word (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908119)

I was a full time college student for 14 years (and no degree. Darn my medium term attention deficit disorder!) but find that my worditoudinous output has increased, now that I have a boring job but decent computer setups. Not doing so much email, though I do manage 20 or so messages a day. Most of my output is on forum and blog sites. Would be interesting to record how many words/day I'm spewing upon a helpless world.

Re:"People" is such a loaded word (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27910621)

When I was a student we still corresponded with one another using paper and ink. There was none of this fancy computerized email.

Trouble is, I often think we haven't actually gained that much. I have to shamefacedly admit I can count the number of handwritten letters I've written in the last 10 years on one hand.

I sometimes find it a bit sad that there are now generations of people who have never sent or received a letter, who will never enjoy the anticipation or sensation of sending or opening a physical paper envelope containing its handwritten missive, complete with errata and marginalia. The coffee-stains or tears, the deletions and rephrasings, in a hand which in its own way comunicates more than the bare text.

Re:"People" is such a loaded word (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27912355)

I have terrible handwriting. Whenever i forget what someone gets me, I hand write a thank you note and nobody has ever called me out for thanking them for the beautiful hippopotamus they sent me.

I am a spambot (3, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906185)

The first group, "day labororers", tend to send emails throughout the normal working day between 0900 and 1800... "emailaholics" tend to send emails throughout the waking hours from 0900 to 0100....the technique can also be used to spot spambots which do not fit into either group

That means that I am a spam bot. I've always hated being labeled.

My 'habit' (5, Interesting)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906387)

I sometimes find myself logging into my email purely as a reflex action. Typing 'ma' in the url bar then down arrow once to highlight mail.yahoo.com, and typing my username and password in before I even realize that I'm doing it.

I wish there was a yahoo email monitor that worked through the system tray. There's a widget, but it sits on the desktop and I hate having things permanently sitting in front of my other windows.

Re:My 'habit' (2, Interesting)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906529)

I don't know about Yahoo, but with Gmail and others, you can set up pop or imap in Thunderbird, Outlook, etc. I'm sure you could find widgets to work with this setup.

Re:My 'habit' (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27910765)

I don't know about Yahoo, but with Gmail and others, you can set up pop or imap in Thunderbird, Outlook, etc.

Yahoo works fine. They used to charge for POP service, but they don't now. Thunderbird is great, but I've recently started using the Apple Mail.app (now that it no longer crashes/burns) to consolidate all of my email accounts without farting around with any of that webmail nonsense, and I prefer it to Tbird on my non-Linux machines.

Re:My 'habit' (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906885)

You can use yahoo messenger to accomplish this.

Re:My 'habit' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27907533)

Pidgin etc, you can thank me latter.

Re:My 'habit' (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907813)

I use pidgin. But it doesn't display anything in the systray icon when you have email, does it?

Re:My 'habit' (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907589)

Hmm.. I completely forgot about YM. Back when I used the yahoo chat rooms I only used yahelite. I forget what turned me off of YM in the first place, but I think it was limited to the chat rooms. I think it might have been the huge frickin ads taking up half the window.

the worst addicts use military notation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27906457)

e.g., 0900 to 1800 instead of "nine AM to six PM".

Hmm, maybe that's evidence of a video game/military strategy game addiction, which doesn't have much in common with sending lots of email.

Straight-line cluster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27906487)

There's an interesting straight-line cluster in the upper left quadrant, with exactly 45-degree slope. Is that the spambot cluster?

Re:Straight-line cluster (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906913)

You're looking at the cluster where start time is nearly equal to end time. Those might be people who check their mail only once a day.

Post-singularity General AI? (0, Troll)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906803)

What about those types?

Nothing new here ... (2, Insightful)

Jaro (4361) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906889)

Well, what does ist really reveal? People over 40 are more likely to still use snail mail instead of email for private communication and only use e-mail during work? Not that interesting... please move along....

I'm a spammer and I demand my rights! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27906923)

I can't help sending millions of people email about the virtues of \/1a6ra.

I'm a emailaholic and need protection by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Another cluster (1)

hcg50a (690062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27906989)

I recognize those two clusters, but there is a another big cluster in my own social network: People who only check their e-mail once a day (or less).

I myself cannot comprehend such behavior.

Re:Another cluster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27908047)

I don't check mine for weeks at a time.

Idiots stand revealed (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907019)

If you don't restrict your e-mailing to regular work hours, you're an "emailaholic"? What a steaming pile of crap!

I answer e-mail when I get around to it, and that's often outside of regular work hours (unless it's from the boss and requires an immediate response, of course). If I was somehow addicted to e-mail, the 353 unread, non-spam messages currently awaiting my attention would be getting dealt with right now. Yet here I am, futzing around on Slashdot when I should have my nose firmly against the grindstone.

I guess what I'm trying to say in my semi-literate way, is, "I got yer spambot right here, analyst boy.

Re:Idiots stand revealed (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908469)

If you don't restrict your e-mailing to regular work hours, you're an "emailaholic"?

Indeed, and having a smartphone changes one's habits too. I may not look at it for hours if I have something interesting going on, but if I am just lounging around I may respond the moment I hear my iPhone ding. I'm not constantly looking it, but my mail is always within reach. Some might classify that as addiction, but I just see it as a matter of convenience and extending people the courtesy of responding quickly if I am free when their message comes in.

Snail Mail (1)

Chlorine Trifluoride (1517149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907105)

Snail mail is much easier to track. All of my mail spam arrives in the middle of the day, so every evening, I just throw away what's in the mailbox.

Next up... (2, Funny)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907241)

Cellphoneholics! People who use their cellphone when they're awake, and NOT JUST DURING BUSINESS HOURS! My gods, they're obviously addicted to cell phones.

Digging Deeper (1)

Fear13ss (917494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907339)

What about other stats regarding email use. Here within my office I respond to numerous email issues and observe the different ways people treat email, some users have over 1000 unread emails in their Inbox, blatantly ignoring spam and daily announcements. They ignore them and allow them to be archived creating digital waste on the file server. I myself check emails as they come in, deleting those I know do not pertain to business functions (which are required to be retained). I also know users that will open an email item and leave it open until they can respond, putting them in a difficult situation should they experience a power failure. What does everyone else see in the workplace?

Re:Digging Deeper (1)

infolation (840436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27907573)

This survey really needs to categorize mobile (blackberry et al) and non-mobile email users. Because crackberry people seem to develop email-'twitch' that makes them break out in a rash when others don't respond to their missives within 30 seconds.

Spambot programmers can't adapt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27907659)

But there's another beneft from the technique. Humans have a unique pattern of transmission that makes them easy to tell apart from machines that send spam. So the new method could be used to spot spambots too.

What is to stop spambot operators from duplicating or at least attempting to mask their email spam patterns to seem like those of humans?

Am I missing something? What is this unique pattern? Is it that humans only send emails at certain times during the day?

What is the proposed anti-spam filter? Is it a time of day filter?

They found two distinct types of emailer. They termed the first "day labourers" because they tended to send emails throughout the normal working day between 0900 and 1800 but not at other times. The second group they called "emailaholics" because these people sent emails throughout the waking hours from 0900 to 0100.

So there are only two extremes? This study is awful.
- - -

Spam email accounts for anywhere from 81% to 97% of all emails sent per year depending on what statistics your are using.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7988579.stm [bbc.co.uk]
http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2008/07/dirtydozjul08.html [sophos.com]
http://www.govtech.com/gt/259865?topic=117671 [govtech.com]

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27908353)

I'm 53 years old and I prefer e-mail to any other form of correspondence. I don't like talking on the phone, I can't wait for snail mail and texting is a waste of time and money. Anyone who needs to contact me knows exactly how to do so. :) Pretty simple.

Myopia (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27908669)

Another case of "if you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail".

Promising title... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27909139)

...disappointing content. Am I missing a link somewhere? Is there something of substance in that story anywhere?

Re:Promising title... (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27909587)

No, but there is in the paper [arxiv.org] .

Translation of these findings. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27909315)

The first group, "day labororers",

AKA "people with healthy lifestyles"

tend to send emails throughout the normal working day between 0900 and 1800 but not at other times. On the other hand, "emailaholics"

AKA the disabled and the "couch potatoes"

tend to send emails throughout the waking hours from 0900 to 0100.

Fight Morbid Obesity [getafirstlife.com]

Link to the paper! (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27909441)

I hate it when science stories - in any media or site, not just /. - don't like to the original paper. There's really no excuse when the paper is freely available [arxiv.org] , either.

Emailahol?! (1)

chaynlynk (1523701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27910071)

I know that many people can get addicted to Chocolahol, but I wasn't aware of there being a substance called Emailahol.

Aside from that, there a many harder substances, such as Twitterhol, and Textahol. Perhaps, Emailahol is a gateway addiction to worse habbits?

On that note, stop adding "aholic" as a suffix to things to describe addiction. We don't call nicotine addicts, Nicoholics! Nor, do we call heroin addicts, heroinaholics.

Missing category (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27910523)

They excluded people that use email almost entirely for receiving automated notifications. Replies to a Slashdot post (cue the dozen posts intended to just trigger the notification...), forum thread, calendar events, Word of the Day...

Pretty much the only emails I send are FailBlog pictures to a sibling every few weeks.

According to them, I'm a spam-bot (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 5 years ago | (#27912379)

Since I rarely use email 9-5 (internal IM and other tech has mostly replaced it for work) I usually only look at my personal email a couple times each evening, usually when I'm home from work, and shortly before I go to bed.

Since I don't fall into either of their groups, I'd be considered a spam-bot. Which I guess wouldn't be a target market for other spam, so maybe that isn't such a bad thing.

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