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MyLife.com: An antidote for email and social media overload

Jeriel Judah, Kimberly Alison and Claire Printz share the same problem, according to recent Twitter posts: They have too many email accounts.

A survey released Tuesday shows the average adult Internet user has 3.1 email accounts, up from 2.6 a year ago. They’re also active on a greater number of social media websites, according to the Harris Interactive poll commissioned by MyLife.com. The Los Angeles firm has Web and mobile applications where users can control multiple social media and email profiles at once.

MyLife.com Chief Executive Jeff Tinsley said people have strong ties to each of their profiles and accounts.

“One of the new things we learned are the connections people have are very different between the services they use,” Tinsley said. “There’s a dependency to use multiple services because it’s a very different set of folks you are talking to through the different channels.”

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All told, 42% of respondents said they had more than one social networking profile and 68% said they talked to different groups of friends in each network.

For Tinsley, the survey underscored that email remains more popular for communication than social networks. It also showed that while Facebook remains the dominant network, more of its users are using a second or third network such as LinkedIn or Twitter. The average respondent had 1.7 social media accounts. Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and Foursquare followed in popularity.

“It’s become a little bit too much to handle for some, and there’s an anxiety about missing something,” Tinsley said.

MyLife.com says it has 63 million members and 17 million unique monthly visitors -- enough to turn a profit. Most of the service is free, but users can pay as little as $6 a month for premium features. Those include deleting personal details from 411 listings and marketing databases and receiving alerts when new records pop up.

It’s the premium features and email connections that distinguish MyLife from competitors such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

MyLife.com launched in 2009 after the mergers of the people-search websites Wink.com and Reunion.com.

Among other findings from the survey were women’s preference for Pinterest and men’s preference for Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. People said they would like to see fewer celebrity updates in their social network feeds. The information should help Tinsley’s team as it tries to provide a unified feed of relevant information to users frustrated by what they get directly on the social networks.

Because of the continued importance of email, Tinsley next wants to add support for additional corporate email accounts so that they too can be brought to a single inbox.

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