My name is James and I have a problem....

James was in the emergency room at University Hospital.  His daughter had been screaming and wailing for hours and he didn’t know what was wrong.

So there he was, holding Caroline in his left arm, while furiously, mindlessly checking his iPhone for any incoming emails.  On a Saturday night.  At 3:00 am.  With an infant screaming in his ear and an intoxicated college student two seats away from him loudly vomiting into a bag.  Suddenly, it hit him– “This is messed up.  I might have an email addiction. Am I becoming one of THOSE people?”

According to this article, a lot of people have similar issues.  The article discusses the psychology of email addiction.  Most of us are “hooked” on email to one extent or another, and it occurs for a number of reasons, which are outlined here.

The ideas in this article have broader marketing applications – understanding how people respond to rewards, for example, and the importance of reciprocity.