Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Fernández F., Urrutia D., Rossel P., Herskovic V., Fuentes C. (2022)

Social+Me: a persuasive application to increase communication between students and their support networks in Southern Chile

Revista : PeerJ
Volumen : 8
Número : e848
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Technology can improve university students’ communication, helping them maintain relationships. Although there are many available technological tools, students face challenges—e.g., living far from home, failing grades, depression—that may isolate them from their networks. Most research into these topics has been conducted in countries in which students leave their parents’ home while at university, which is not the case for most students in southern Chile. In this context that has been seldom studied, this paper presents two studies, focusing on two research questions: (1) How do university students in southern Chile communicate? (2) Can a mobile application persuade university students to increase their communication patterns? To answer these questions, we conducted a survey with 90 students in southern Chile, and then developed a persuasive application called Social+Me, aimed at monitoring communication with students’ support networks and persuading them to keep in touch. We conducted a preliminary evaluation of Social+Me, and the application was well received by participants, who felt that it improved their communication with their social network. The main impact of our study lies in applying persuasive technologies to the communicative practice of university students to prevent students from feeling isolated or unsupported.