Doomscrolling: Tips on How to Manage It!
In the past decade, digital media has rapidly become an integral part of our lives. We use it for work, socializing, and entertainment. Unfortunately, doomscrolling can have serious mental health consequences if not managed correctly, from stress to anxiety and depression. This blog post will explore ways to manage doomscrolling so you can Stay Informed Without Sacrificing Your Mental Health.
What is Doomscrolling?
When you doomscroll, you mindlessly scroll through social media or news outlets looking for information, even though what you find is likely to make you anxious or stressed. This can become a vicious cycle, as the more anxious you feel, the more likely you are to keep doomscrolling to find some relief.
Doomscrolling can hurt your mental health, as it can increase anxiety and stress levels. It can also make it difficult to focus on other tasks or enjoy leisure activities. If you find yourself doomscrolling, it may be helpful to take a break from social media and news outlets and focus on something that brings you joy.
The History of Doomscrolling
The term “doomscrolling” is believed to have originated on Twitter in 2018. It was first used about the tendency of people to scroll through social media feeds obsessively, looking for news about disasters or other harmful events. The word “doom” in this context refers to the feeling of dread or foreboding that can accompany such scrolling.
Doomscrolling has become increasingly common in recent years as the world has become more connected and social media has become a primary news source for many people. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made this worse, as people obsessively check for updates on the virus and scroll through frightening news stories about its spread.
Many experts believe that doomscrolling harms our mental health, as it can cause us to focus on negative events and amplify our anxiety and stress levels. If you find yourself doomscrolling, it may be helpful to take a break from social media or set limits on how much time you spend looking at news stories daily.
The Different Types of Doomscrollers
One type of doomscroller is the person who can’t help but check their phone for the latest update on a crisis, even if they know it won’t be good. They’re the ones refreshing Twitter or the news app constantly, looking for any scrap of information that might help them understand what’s happening.
Another type of doomscroller is the person who compulsively reads articles about a bad situation, even if they don’t want to know more. They’re drawn in by the sensational headlines and can’t resist clicking on every link. Once they start reading, they can’t stop, even if the article makes them feel worse.
Then some simply enjoy following along with a disaster, almost like it’s entertainment. They get a dark thrill from keeping up with the latest developments in a crisis, and they love to discuss it with others. This type of doomscroller isn’t necessarily looking for solutions; they just want to stay up-to-date on all the gory details.
The Pros and Cons of Doomscrolling
Regarding staying up-to-date on the news, there are pros and cons to doomscrolling. On the one hand, it’s essential to be informed about what’s happening in the world. But on the other hand, constantly reading about negative news can harm your mental health. Here are some things to consider:
1. Being Informed: It’s crucial to stay up-to-date on current events, especially if they directly affect your life. For example, if there’s a natural disaster in your area, you’ll want to know as soon as possible so you can take appropriate safety measures.
2. Connecting With Others: In our increasingly digital world, doomscrolling can help you feel connected to others who are also following the news closely. This can create a sense of community and make you feel less alone in your anxiety or stress.
3. Motivation for Change: If you’re constantly seeing stories about injustice or tragedy, it can motivate you to take action and make positive changes in the world. Knowing what’s happening can empower you to do something about it.
1. Anxiety and Stress: Reading about tragic events or injustices can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. This can be particularly difficult if the news is personally relevant to you, as it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to improve it.
2. Overwhelming: It’s easy to get lost in an endless stream of news stories that can start to blur together and become overwhelming. This feeling of being overwhelmed can be challenging to escape from, making it hard to focus on anything else.
3. Detachment: When we’re constantly doomscrolling, it’s easy to become desensitized or detached from current events. We may start to view them as just another story rather than something that could have a tangible impact on our lives or the lives of others.
Ultimately, it’s essential to find a balance in doomscrolling. Taking regular breaks and focusing on positive stories can help ensure that staying informed doesn’t take a toll on your mental health.
How to Quit Doomscrolling
If you find yourself doomscrolling, it’s essential to take a step back and assess how much time you spend on your phone or device overall. Are you using your device for leisure activities, OR are you letting it consume you? There are a few key things you can do to help break the habit:
1. Set aside specific times for checking social media or reading the news instead of mindlessly scrolling through your feed.
2. Keep track of your time on your devices each day and week so that you can be aware of patterns and cut back where necessary.
3. Make a list of productive things you could be doing with your time instead of doomscrolling (e.g., talking to friends/family, going for a walk, cooking a meal, reading a book).
4. Download an app that limits screen time or blocks certain websites/apps.
5. Find an accountability partner who will check in with you regularly to ensure you stick to your goals.
Doomscrolling is an increasingly common phenomenon that can majorly impact our mental health and relationships. By understanding the sources of our doomscrolling behavior and taking steps to reduce it, we can help protect ourselves from this harmful habit’s damaging effects. Thank you for reading this blog article, and feel free to continue doing it in the future!