“I finally felt I had the tools to control these urges”: Empowering Students to Achieve Their Device Use Goals With the Reduce Digital Distraction Workshop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Digital self-control tools (DSCTs) help people control their time and attention on digital devices, using interventions like distraction blocking or usage tracking. Most studies of DSCTs' effectiveness have focused on whether a single intervention reduces time spent on a single device. In reality, people may require combinations of DSCTs to achieve more subjective goals across multiple devices. We studied how DSCTs can address individual needs of university students (n = 280), using a workshop where students reflect on their goals before exploring relevant tools. At 1-3 month follow-ups, 95% of respondents still used at least one type of DSCT, typically applied across multiple devices, and there was substantial variation in the tool combinations chosen. We observed a large increase in self-reported digital self-control, suggesting that providing a space to articulate goals and self-select appropriate DSCTs is a powerful way to support people who struggle to self-regulate digital device use.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2024 - Proceedings of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Sytems
Number of pages20
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc.
Publication date2024
Article number251
ISBN (Electronic)9798400703300
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Sytems, CHI 2024 - Hybrid, Honolulu, United States
Duration: 11 May 202416 May 2024


Conference2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Sytems, CHI 2024
LandUnited States
ByHybrid, Honolulu
SeriesConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Copyright held by the owner/author(s)

    Research areas

  • attention, digital self-control, digital wellbeing, distraction

ID: 394532005