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E-mail attitudes: Talk to the mouse

Some employees snack on e-mail all day long. Others have one big meal at the end of the day. Regardless, tastes vary widely on the use and abuse of the ubiquitous workplace communicator.

Vault.com, a business-information Web site, surveyed more than 1,000 employees to determine how e-mail affects productivity, communication, and quality of life at work.

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Some of its findings:

*79 percent of those polled said they have a separate account for personal e-mail. Several people worried about employers monitoring their personal accounts because they inquire about other jobs and don't want their current employer to know.

*37 percent of people do not like "emoticons," which are punctuation marks placed together in a manner to show different emotions, a smiley face :-), for example. Some said they are too juvenile and should not be used in workplace communication.

*80 percent said e-mail had basically replaced traditional "snail mail" and 45 percent said it had replaced phone calls.

The repercussions e-mail has on American's social lives are also increasing. A recent study by Stanford University's Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society found one-quarter of Web users spent less time at social events and talking with friends and family on the phone.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society