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Waking to check mail? You're not alone

One in three can't make it through the night

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One in three mobile workers wake regularly during the night to check their email, while 40 per cent will interrupt a meeting to answer a call.

They used to say that if you couldn't sleep the night without breaking for a cigarette then you were properly addicted, and by that token over 30 per cent of mobile workers surveyed by iPass are truly addicted to their connectivity. Nearly half admitted being unable to sleep without a smartphone within reach.

Just under a third reported that their constant use of technologies upset their domestic partner; but we have to acknowledge that a proportion will be single, and others will have lost the social skills necessary to notice that a physically present person was upset.

The obsession with connectivity started when people started mistaking the first response for the best response - creating a race in which executives who got their response in first were considered superior to those who had thought over the question for a while.

Anyone who has found themselves standing in front of a Power Point slide addressing a room full of people lost in the world of the BlackBerry will know how annoying it is, but apparently that doesn't stop the behaviour. While 80 per cent of those surveyed said they found using a smartphone during a meeting unacceptable, more than 40 per cent admitted they did it.

The vast majority of respondents to the iPass survey (pdf, lots more details and some advice for IT departments) are aged 35-55, which is a shame as the next generation seem slightly less obsessed with always being available. To Generation X a ringing telephone must be answered, but today's youth seem much less concerned with being at the beck and call of everyone who knows one's number or online identity.

We can only hope so, 'cos waking up every few hours to check email might not be as dangerous as waking up for a fag, but it's still going to kill you eventually. ®

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