This interesting article by Julie Beck on The Atlantic, titled How It Became Normal to Ignore Texts and Emails, is an exhaustive description of what digital communications are demanding right now: immediateness.
Though messaging was initially an asynchronous communication method, nowadays you are supposed to reply instantly or you will be inevitably late and - worse - you could show lack of interest or respect for the other party.
Being a remote worker, I know that emails are expected to be answered immediately and that that sending an email is considered as calling over the phone or entering your store. The longer the wait, the higher the chances that your customer will walk out / hang up on you and take their business elsewhere.
Revising my spam inbox daily and multiple times a day should be part of my routine. Unfortunately, it is not and I have just found an inquiry from a prospect dated April 4th.
Another example of the consequences of my lack of immediateness comes from a Yahoo! mailing list I am a member of, where someone was interested in my services. Back then, I received just a daily digest of that mailing list to avoid being notified every 5 minutes or so about new messages, so by the time I replied (6 hours later) the job was already gone to someone else because it was 'urgent' (what is not urgent, nowadays?) Of course, the prospect could have googled my name, found my website and contacted me through that channel. But, why bother when they could simply email someone else already in their contact list?
Pressure and anxiety are two common consequences of this new way to work and interact on digital media. And being glued to the screen is often a professional duty and not a personal choice.