What is Doomscrolling and How To Avoid Doomscrolling?
Do you find yourself scrolling through negative news over and over again? Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, people have been using social media to connect with friends, family, get news, etc. However, you will find that the timeline on social media is full of sad news, many deaths daily, a spike in cases of Covid-19, rape cases, murders and you keep scrolling from one sad story to another. You even go to comment sections to read the comments. Well, that is doomscrolling. So, what exactly is doomscrolling?
According to Merriam Webster, Doomscrolling or doomsurfing are new terms referring to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. Click To Tweet Many people find themselves reading continuously bad news about COVID-19 without the ability to stop or step back.”
Why are we Doomscrolling?
Lockdowns across the globe has led to an increase of social media users to 4.20 billion. According to theDigital 2021 report, it shows that 1.3 million new users joined social media every day during 2020 and they spend 2 hours and 25 minutes daily. Click To Tweet What are people searching or scrolling on social media? Some people say they are doomscrolling in a bid to find answers about the pandemic or feeling the need to stay informed about what is happening around them and around the world. The loop of going through social media posts, to comments, to searching articles to videos also makes people get and understand a story in different angles. Strangely, doomscrolling tends to be satisfying to for some people, but studies have shown to have negative impacts on your mood and brain.“Many people think that they’ll feel safer by staying abreast of the latest news. Yet, they don’t realize that consumption of the negative news only leads to greater fear, anxiety, and stress,” Dr. Carla Marie Manly Click To Tweet, a clinical psychologist and author of “Joy from Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend,” told Healthline.
How to Stop Doomscrolling
Before we look at how to avoid doomscrolling, it is vital to ask yourself this question. How does doomscrolling make you feel after getting the information you wanted? Is it satisfying? Are you anxious, hopeless, empty or stressed? If it leaves you stressed and hopeless, then you need to stop doomscrolling now. Here are some ways on how to stop doomscrolling.
1. Set time Limits
One way to stop the nerve-ending Doomscrolling is setting certain time limits on the time you want to spend on social media. For apps like Facebook and Instagram, you can use inbuilt time limit features so that you can know when to log out of social media. Once you hit the time limit you will not be able to use the social media app doomscrolling.
I’ve started limiting my social media time with timers on my phone. Instead of just telling me TIME’S UP and letting me keep doomscrolling, my android phone gives me warnings of how much time i have left and then REFUSES TO OPEN THE APP, which, is hilarious to me.
— vicki nerino (@vickinerino) March 21, 2021
2. Avoid using your Phones in the Morning and Bedtime
Do you sign in to social media platforms the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing you do before going to bed? It’s at any of these moments that people tend to spend a lot of time doomsurfing on social media. Learn to make your morning and nights sacred and avoid using your phones to doomscroll. Here is a reminder from Karen K. Ho, a global finance and economics reporter for Quartz based in New York who emphasizing the importance of rest and screen breaks. Her Twitter Bio reads “part-time Doomscrolling Reminder Lady”
Hi, are you
There’s been a lot of bad news
this week. A lot of fear, sadness, and grief. A lot to take in and
figure out. I know you’re doing your best. Try not to stay up
too late tonight. You still deserve time to rest.
Karen K. Ho (@karenkho) March
3. Practice Gratitude
It’s with no doubt we are living in tough times and there are sad stories daily. However, it would help if you practiced gratitude. Look for something positive things around you and be thankful for them. It can be something minor like appreciating the cup you are using, the sweet breakfast you have had, the plants in your house, good weather, or the people that make you happy. With time you will have positive thoughts even when things are tough.
4. Turn off Push Notifications
If you have notifications of social media platforms or articles turned on, you can consider switching them off. Truth be told. Some articles or news blogs have crafted the art of catchy headlines that you will be prompted to open once they appear on your phone.
5. Consider Social Media DetoxSocial media detox is consciously taking a break from social media consumption for a given period, usually 30 days. Social media detox helps you live the moment, reconnect with yourself, people and things around you and prevent you… Click To Tweet While detoxing, you will stay away completely from doomscrolling. This might not be practical for social media managers and digital marketers.
6. Get a Hobby/Engaging Activity
Another way to avoid doomscrolling is caving to an activity that you like. You can choose to read books, do exercise, gardening, or watch a movie. Any meaningful activity that will distract you from doomsurfing on your phone.
This is all I had the energy to do today and hey it kept me from doomscrolling for a whole hour. pic.twitter.com/KFLcrN8sQi
— Rachel 📷 Kelso (@thehappysnaps) March 24, 2021
7. Do Joyscrolling
You can also opt for joyscrolling or hopescrolling on a social media platform. Remember, amidst all the happenings, there is still positive news and positive stories on social media platforms. Engage in more positive stories rather than sad stories
Hopefully, you will cultivate a habit that will stop you from doomscrolling during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the future. Also, have you been doomscrolling? Have you stopped it, or do you want to stop? Let me know in the comment section how you are dealing with doomscrolling.