Online peer groups as a persuasive tool to combat digital addiction
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Editors: Meschtscherjakov, A., Ruyter, B.E.R.D., Fuchsberger, V., Murer, M. and Tscheligi, M.
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Journal: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. Digital Addiction (DA) denotes a problematic usage of digital devices characterised by properties such as being compulsive, impulsive, excessive and hasty. DA is associated with negative behaviours such as anxiety and depression. “Digital Detox” programs have started to appear and are mainly based on a relatively expensive and heavyweight in-patient care utilising traditional solutions such as motivational interviews and cognitive behavioural therapies. For moderate addiction, persuasive technology could have potential, as a brief intervention, to assist users to regulate their usage. This paper explores the design of online peer groups as a persuasive technique that puts together people who share a common interest in combating their DA or in helping others to do so. We conducted empirical research to explore design aspects of this mechanism. The results raise a range of questions and challenges to address when developing such a technique for the behaviour change needed against DA.