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WorldCIST'19 - 7th World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

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Gender Differences in Attitudes towards Prevention and Intervention Messages for Digital Addiction

[Purpose] It has been suggested that excessive use of the internet and digital devices can lead to digital addiction (DA). In contrast to other industries such as the alcohol industry there appears to be very little expectation on the software industry to position itself as a primary actor in the development of DA; even though software providers have unique capabilities to engage with users in real time and in a personalised way through multi-modal interactive and intelligent prevention and intervention messages. One aspect of personalisation that has been demonstrated to be of importance in relation to DA and other compulsive behaviours is gender. [Method] This study consisted of a series of initial exploratory interviews followed by a survey of 150 respondents and several same-sex focus groups, the latter of which was recruited from a university student sample. Thematic and quantitative analyses were then conducted on the data gathered. [Results] Overall participants welcomed the idea of DA prevention and intervention messages, although they also demonstrated a clear preference for any DA prevention and intervention messages system to be adaptive and context-aware. Some gender differences were evident, such as in terms for acceptance of messages generated by friends or the preference for graphical messages. [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest that DA prevention and intervention messages may be useful to and welcomed by individuals who use digital technologies excessively. However, these users also appear to have expectations of what a successful DA prevention and intervention messages system should be able to achieve. Further research is needed on this emergent topic.

John McAlaney
Bournemouth University
United Kingdom

Emily Arden-Close
Bournemouth University
United Kingdom

Raian Ali
Bournemouth University
United Kingdom

 


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