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Obsessive checking of email...


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So, kind of embarassed to admit this, because it seems weirder saying it out loud for some reason.

I've got a habit of checking email (I have several email accounts with work, school, personal) ALOT.

I'd say at least 10 times a day, maybe more depending on how long I am at the computer.

But it is not like a compulsion...because if I'm away from the computer I don't even think about checking my email. I don't think anything bad is going to happen if I don't check my email...it almost feels like a way to procrastinate?

It doesn't interfere with my work or debilitate me in anyway. If anything I feel like it gives my mind a break/distraction to have to type in passwords to login. But really, there just seems to be no need to check email that often.

I don't even know why or who I am waiting/wanting to get an email from. I just have this sense that I don't want to miss a possible connection with someone.

Just wondering if yall think this is common...

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Sounds normal to me as well. Just like to know that somebody out there cares and is thinking of me. I do it out of boredom and loneliness.

Just as I like to check the MB as well several times a day.

AJ

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Yeh, can relate. Don't know if it's common, because I haven't talked to many people about it. I check email at least half a dozen times a day and messageboards a bit less than that. If I'm not in the house, I don't obsess about it. I think I do this because it makes me feel less alone. Plus I'm not working, so lots of time on my hands

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i'm there with dweii- we all have weird habits that make us unique. as long as checking your email doesn't interfere with your life or become an obsession/compulsion, then it shouldn't be thought of as a problem. it may be a little odd, but that's ok. we all have things about ourselves that are a little odd.

for example, i live in an apartment, and had a little 3" high xmas tree standing on the table. it was prelit and everything. well, i never took it down. i'm looking at it right now. it is like a little lamp in my living room. i can't picture my living room without my xmas tree. now, at least for next year i'll be ready way before anyone else! talk about xmas in july, how about it in january? ;)

i also love the smell of cloves of all things and wear essential clove oil when i go out. just a little bit smells so good to me.

i'm obsessed with yahoo messenger. i can't miss a message. i check it when i'm around the house cleaning or something, to make sure i'm not missing anything. that is probably weirder than you looking at your email.

i also hate loud things. i especially hate loud music. the neighbor upstairs upsets me A LOT because she likes her music loud. there's nothing i can do about it (except maybe beat her over the head with some stereo equipment one day :) ). most people just ignore it, but it drives me so crazy.

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I'll add a me too to the list.

I have a notifier that chimes when I get a new message in gmail and one that bongs for a new yahoo message. I'll be downstairs and be able to hear it. And as soon as I get a chance, I'll check and see what it is.

In my defense, I've been corresponding with people I've been doing volunteer work for as well as my recruiter for work so it's sorta of important to respond to them right away...

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It's probably something you just learned along the way... one day you had a lot of new messages or almost received a message too late, so now it seems like you are doing it for no reason but, really, there is a reason. If that makes sense.

I think it's very common, especially with computers these days. Many people check Myspace way too much and I'd be willing to bet a lot of people check responses to their threads rather obsessively! As long as it doesn't interfere with life, it's not usually a problem, I'd say. There's plently other things to worry about!!

And I'm sort of confused. I thought a compulsion was the action -- checking, and obsession was the thought about it. (??)

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Ditto Bern. My email is my homepage, and nobody else uses my computer, so it's always logged in. So every time I sit down at the computer, I look at my email. At least 10 times a day, I'm sure.

But I admit that I'm kind of an internet junkie... so I don't know if it's normal-normal. But it's at least pretty normal. Haha.

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Ditto Bern. My email is my homepage, and nobody else uses my computer, so it's always logged in. So every time I sit down at the computer, I look at my email. At least 10 times a day, I'm sure.

But I admit that I'm kind of an internet junkie... so I don't know if it's normal-normal. But it's at least pretty normal. Haha.

I had this discussion with my psychologist a while ago. I argued that the nature of compulsions is changing in the digital world - now instead of checking the front door we might check email or play video games - to an "over the top" extent. He agreed with me.

I used to check my email as much as 100 times per day, sometimes more. Now that is when you have a problem. 10 times, I wouldnt worry about.

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used to check my email as much as 100 times per day, sometimes more. Now that is when you have a problem. 10 times, I wouldnt worry about.

I agree with chimpmaster - my first thought when you said 10x was "is that all?". I really don't think you need worry about it.

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I used to have this "compulsion" severely in college ('00-'04, so I started around the time the digital obsession started spreading across this part of the world)... I'd check the e-mail at least every hour when I was in the dorms/my apartment. And when I got my laptop, any time it was out for something else, I'd also check my email while on campus.

Now I "only" check my e-mail 3 times a day at most, and have gone with many days not checking it (which has resulted in "haven't you checked your email today?!?!" from friends and family who'd recently sent me something).

OTOH, instant messaging (IM), that's something I have "issues" with. I was on 24/7 (though generally with an away message, but chatting whenever I was at my desk). I am still on it every evening for a couple of hours. Granted, most of my "buddies" on my list are people I know in real life, so it's mostly a tool for communicating with people I've already met face to face. Somehow that decreases the stigma...

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Unless it's interfering with your life, I say don't worry about it. I've had periods where I've had the computer within earshot pretty much all the time (to the point of having the laptop on the bed next to me). Don't worry... something else will eventually get your attention!

And for clarity... what you are describing is a compulsion, not an obsession. Behaviors (e.g., the act of excessively checking your email) are compulsions and thoughts (e.g., constantly thinking about checking your email) are obsessions. I've never liked the term/diagnosis "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)" because they are two completely different things and while it's common to be afflicted by both, they can certainly manifest themselves independently.

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