Why You Can't Stop Checking Your Email

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Media Outlet: CNN

France passed a “right to disconnect” from e-mail law. Brigid Schulte writes for CNN about our e-mail compulsion.

We're drowning in email. We check it incessantly -- more than half of American workers check email at least once an hour. And at night. And on weekends. And on vacation. The compulsion to constantly check, respond, clean out and keep on top of an overflowing inbox is actually making us stressed out, distracted, miserable and sick. So sick that on January 1, a "right to disconnect from email" law went into effect in France as a way to reduce worker stress and burnout and improve quality of life.

    But what if the ability to disconnect has less to do with legislation and more with our often irrational human psychology?


    Brigid Schulte is the director of the Better Life Lab at New America. Schulte is an award-winning journalist and author, who writes widely for publications including the Washington Post, Slate, Time,  the Guardian, and others. Her book on time pressure, gender roles and modern life, Overwhelmed, Work, Love and Play when No One has the Time, was a New York Times bestseller.