If she is yet to respond to your email request for a date this weekend, don’t get hassled. This is because you may have to wait about four minutes longer for an email response from a woman than an email response from a man, an interesting study has revealed.
While you may also be obsessing if an email never arrived or has gone into someone’s spam file, the researchers said that 90 percent of people respond within a day or two of receiving an email to which they plan to respond.
The most likely reply time is two minutes and half of responders will respond in just under an hour.
Age is also an indicator for email response time. Younger people reply faster, but write shorter replies.
Teenagers are the quickest, with an email response time of 13 minutes.
Young adults aged 20-35 years responded on average of 16 minutes of receiving an email while 35-50-year-olds tended to respond in 24 minutes on average.
However, those over 51 years of age, took 47 minutes to respond on average.
“The paper is the largest study of email to date, measuring how the volume of incoming email affects behaviours of recipients and the length of time it takes them to reply to emails,” said doctoral student Farshad Kooti and Kristina Lerman, research associate professor from University of Southern California.
If someone is working from a laptop, on average it will take them almost twice as long to respond than if he/she were using a mobile phone, the duo noted.
More than half the email replies are less than 43 words, and only 30 percent of emails are longer than 100 words.
The researchers are also able to predict when an email thread will fizzle out.
When users first email each other, they mimic each other with regards to the length of emails, but as the email chain continues, this synchronicity drops off.
In general, users are synchronized until the middle of the conversation.
“A long delay in the final response signals to both parties that the conversation is probably over,” the team noted.
Younger users can cope with the increased email load more than older email users.
When younger users become more overloaded, they tend to send shorter and faster replies to cope with the increased load.
On the other hand, older people respond to an increased load of emails by replying to a smaller fraction of emails.
The paper was presented at the annual World Wide Web conference in Italy recently.