The Digital Age

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More than ever before, people rely on digital communication, such as e-mail, instant messaging and texting to stay connected and get things done. And our evolving online behavior reveals a lot more about our habits and values than we may think. A new survey conducted by Yahoo! Mail shows the average adult is highly invested in e-mail, regularly using 3 e-mail accounts – 2 for personal use and 1 for work.

The survey also found a growing number of adults are “hooked” on their e-mail, with 2 in 3 checking their e-mail as soon as they wake up, up from only 41% last year. The new survey also found:

  • 13% of adults think it’s appropriate to end a relationship via e-mail, IM or text. Men are more likely than women to end a relationship via digital methods.
  • 1 in 5 people admit to having read their significant other’s e-mail without their knowledge.
  • The majority of adults check e-mail very frequently, with 48% checking their inboxes during meals.
  • Many adults, especially women, have negatively judged someone based on an e-mail, grammatical errors, or even an e-mail address.
  • Most adults believe there is a finite period of time in which someone can respond to an e-mail. When it comes to personal mail, 86% of adults think an e-mail should not go more than a week without a response.
  • 68% of adults check personal e-mail while at work.
  • 70% of adults believe it’s OK to send “Thank You” cards/notes for gifts via e-mail.
  • 81% of adults would allow their child to have their own e-mail account before the age of 15.

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E-mail Address Reveals More Than You Think

Users of Google’s Gmail are thinner, younger, better-educated, more well-traveled and more likely to be male than AOL or Yahoo! e-mail users, according to a new report from Hunch.com. Hunch analyzed 75 million answers from its approximately 700,000 users to determine the demographics, lifestyles and personality traits of people who use e-mail from Gmail, AOL, Yahoo! and Hotmail/MSN, the four most widely-used e-mail domains. According to the study:

AOL users are most likely to be overweight women ages 35-64 who have a high school diploma. They tend to be in a relationship of 10+ years and have children. AOL users live in the suburbs and haven’t traveled outside their own country. Family is their first priority. They mostly read magazines, have a desktop computer, listen to the radio, and watch TV on 1-3 DVRs in their home. At home, they lounge around in sweats. AOL users are optimistic extroverts who prefer sweet snacks and like working on a team.

Gmail users are most likely to be thin young men ages 18-34 who are college-educated. They tend to be single and childless. Gmail users live in cities and have traveled to five or more countries. They’re career-focused and plugged in. They mostly read blogs, have an iPhone and laptop, and listen to music via MP3s and computers (but they don’t have a DVR). At home, they lounge around in a T-shirt and jeans. Gmail users prefer salty snacks, are introverted and entrepreneurial.

Hotmail users are most likely to be young women 18-34 (and younger) who have a high school diploma. They tend to be single, and childless. Hotmail users live in the suburbs, perhaps still with their parents, and have traveled to up to five countries. They mostly read magazines and contemporary fiction, have a laptop, and listen to music via MP3s and computers (but they don’t have a DVR). At home, they lounge around in a T-shirt and jeans. They’re introverts who prefer sweet snacks and like working on a team. They consider themselves more pessimistic, but sometimes it depends on the situation.

Yahoo! users are most likely to be overweight women ages 18-49 who have a high school diploma. They tend to be in a relationship of 1-5 years and have children. Yahoo! users live in the suburbs or in rural areas and haven’t traveled outside their own country. Family is their first priority. They mostly read magazines, are almost equally likely to have a laptop or desktop computer, listen to the radio and CDs, and watch TV on 1-2 DVRs in their home. At home, they lounge around in pajamas. They’re extroverts who prefer sweet snacks and like working on a team. Yahoo! users are optimistic or pessimistic, depending on the situation.