email apnea
n. The unconscious and temporary suspension of regular breathing while checking and reading email.
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Researchers say that the stress of not being able to process information as fast as it arrives, combined with the personal and social expectation that, say, you will answer every e-mail message, can deplete and demoralize you. … Author Linda Stone, who coined the term "continuous partial attention" to describe the mental state of today's knowledge workers, says she's now noticing, get this, "e-mail apnea": the unconscious suspension of regular and steady breathing when people tackle their e-mail.
—Paul Hemp, “Death by Information Overload,” Harvard Business Review, September 01, 2009
The idea is to develop better breathing habits, so your not experiencing apnea (holding your breath) in situations that you may not be aware of as stressful. These small situation or "pebble stones" never seem to register as something significant, however, collectively they add up. For example the dangers of email apnea (holding or shallow breathing, while doing email) have been warned against.
—Jayme Albin, “Breathing your way to a happier and healthier life,” Ask the Cognitive Behavior Therapist, April 02, 2009
2008 (earliest)
I wanted to know — how widespread is "email apnea?" I observed others on computers and Blackberries: in their offices, their homes, at cafes — the vast majority of people held their breath, or breathed very shallowly, especially when responding to email. I watched people on cell phones, talking and walking, and noticed that most were mouth-breathing and hyperventilating.
—Linda Stone, “Just Breathe: Building the case for Email Apnea,” The Huffington Post, February 08, 2008