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How many times have the words "sorry for the delay" appeared in your emails?

What has happened in our society that suddenly we are always apologizing for taking a reasonable amount of time to respond to an email? Unless the sender identifies the matter as urgent and requiring an immediate response, why are we apologizing?

Dan Ariely, behavioral economist, points out "There's a huge difference between important and urgent." In fact, if you send him an email you'll receive a form asking when you need a reply. What may come as a surprise is that he rarely receives a form marked "immediately!"

If that is the case, then why are we killing ourselves to answer every email immediately? Melissa Dahl explores the issue further for the Science of Us.