Procrastination on social networking sites: types, triggers, and socio-technical countermeasures.

Authors: Alblwi, A.

Procrastination has become an important field in academic research and refers to a voluntary delay in performing tasks that need to be done. Procrastination can lead to negative consequences such as low academic performance, low work productivity and anxiety. Numerous studies have examined the factors that may lead people to procrastinate, such as low self-efficacy, low self-regulation and low self-esteem. Social networking sites (SNSs) may facilitate procrastination; for example, notifications could be a distraction that promotes procrastination for people, preventing them from performing their original tasks.

This Thesis aims to understand how procrastination on SNS occurs, the role of SNS design in triggering it and how to engineer social media to combat it through existing and novel features. Then, this knowledge will be used to develop a method to combat procrastination on SNS. This method will be informed by psychological theories as well as technical and socio-technical countermeasures.

To achieve this goal, a mixed methods approach was conducted with SNS users, including focus groups and diary studies, co-design sessions and surveys. The results of these studies helped to develop a method that helps users to gain more control over their procrastination on SNS. The developed method is supported by persuasive techniques including reminders and suggestions, which help to persuade users to change their usage style without forcing them toward the change. Finally, the developed method was evaluated with SNS users who self-declared as procrastinators on SNS. The evaluation study examines five aspects: clarity, procrastination awareness, coverage, effectiveness and acceptance. The results demonstrated that the combating procrastination on SNS method (D-Crastinate) helps to improve users’ control over their procrastination.

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