Calmer persuasive technology for mental health and well-being: Mindfulness-based mobile applications
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Over the course of the last two decades, technology has become more distracting, more persuasive and more pervasive than ever before. We are surrounded by alarms, reminders, and notifications. As a result, we are constantly distracted, unable to focus on one task and forced to switch tasks constantly or multitask. This technological overload is contributing to the levels of mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. The aim of this thesis study is to develop an in-depth critical understanding of the root causes of technology becoming more persuasive over the years; in order to gain insight on how technologies can become calmer. In this context, we have chosen MBMAs (MindfulnessBased Mobile Apps) as a case study. This study provides an in-depth analysis of three of the most popular MBMAs worldwide: Calm, Meditopia and Headspace via CMDA (Critical Multimodal Discourse Analysis); as well as EIs (Expert Interviews) with MBMA designers working in these firms and an additional EI with a mindfulness trainer that has no ties with these firms; to gain insight on professionals’ perspectives on the issue.
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