That's according to new research by America Online scheduled to be unveiled today. The report, based on an Opinion Research Corporation survey of around 4,000 online adults in a total of 20 U.S. cities, found that 77 percent of e-mail users have more than one account, and the average user has 2.8 accounts. The average user also relies on e-mail at least as much as the telephone, and spends about an hour a day checking e-mail.
In addition to reading personal e-mail at work (done by 61 percent of users who work away from home), account holders also check e-mail in bed (23 percent), classes (12 percent), and business meetings (8 percent). A small proportion even admit to checking e-mail in the bathroom (6 percent), while driving (4 percent), and in church (1 percent).
The survey also found some city-by-city differences in e-mail habits. For instance, San Francisco e-mail users check e-mail six times a day on average--more than in any other city surveyed. Also, more than three out of four e-mail users in the city by the Bay, 76 percent, check personal e-mail at work.
Houston takes the prize for the highest proportion to stumble out of bed to check e-mail, with 51 percent of account holders saying they've checked in-boxes in the middle of the night. Bean town residents seem to be the early birds, with 45 percent saying they check e-mail first thing in the morning--slightly more than the national average of 41 percent.