Monday, June 18, 2007

On email, addiction and statistics.

A poll by ICM research (prepared for Nasstar) presents some new statistics about email use in the UK. It appears that up to half of us depend upon email or are addicted to email.
I'm really not certain that the survey shows evidence of email addiction, but it makes for a good headline and who am I to criticise how the BBC might use language?

41% of teenagers indicated that they were reliant on email
50% of 25 - 34 year olds indicated that they were reliant on email
44% of 35 - 44 year olds indicated that they were reliant on email

I can't locate full set of figures but the press release suggests that email usage is lowest in Wales with only 34% of people saying that email was vital to them, as compared to 43% of people in the South East. No surprises there, just a little more evidence of the growing digital divide in our country.

These dependency figures probably say something about digital natives.
Some might argue that teenagers as digital natives don't send emails, I don't think the average teenager has much need to send emails. Communication between teenagers is far more likely in the form of short texts, instant messages, or twitter like communiques within social networking sites.

The 25 - 34 year olds are more likely to be in the sort of environments where emails are essential for work and business. In fact I suspect they may well be using email in addition to other methods of "electronic communication".

As is ever the case statistics never tell us the whole story.

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