If its followers were a country, it would be twice as populous as China. These 2.5 billion people give an hour every day to their faith—email. As with all things Internet related, email gained adherents at a prodigious rate. The first email message was sent in 1971, but widespread use began only by 1995.
In 30 years, email went from being a revolutionary replacement for the postal department—what we now call snail mail—to being a replacement, sometimes, for speech.
“Now we know that emails are often exchanged between people sitting in the same building—or even in the same room!” says a new study called “You’ve Got Mail!” from the Future Work Centre, a UK research institute. After surveying 2,000 users in the UK—the findings are not likely to be particularly different elsewhere—they have some disquieting explanations as to what email is doing to its users.