Having a phone on you gives you access to the world’s information. However, there are a few downsides to this, and one of them is doomscrolling. What is it? Let’s discuss.
What is Doomscrolling?
Ever found yourself on Facebook, Twitter, or a similar social media hub, and kept scrolling, seeing bad news after bad news? This is what’s been coined as doomscrolling.
Doomscrolling especially became prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we couldn’t stop consuming negative, scary news. We were, and still are, glued to every update of information on the virus, how many it’s killed, and any other mutation.
Being informed of the coronavirus, as well as other happenings in the world, isn’t a bad thing. However, we tend to have a bias to the negative news, and ignore the positive.
Back to doomscrolling for a second.
Doomscrolling is a term that has only been popularized in the past few years. However, the action of it isn’t anything new. From the news telling us everything negative and little positive, the world seems like a scarier place than it is.
Now, let’s discuss why we tend to doomscroll.
One reason why we doomscroll is that we want confirmation bias. If you’re pessimistic, depressed, or believe the world is a dangerous place, you may look for information that can confirm this. You may follow pages or accounts that share a lot of negative news, then you scroll your feed, seeing news after news that’s not good.
It’s an Unconscious Habit
Scrolling social media is something we almost do on autopilot. It’s easy for us to take out our phone or open a tab on our browser, then scroll until we catch ourselves in the act.
Many of us tend to run on autopilot, and social media scrolling is one such action. We do not take time to look at our habits and try to regulate our usage.
How it Can Hurt Us
Doomscrolling is not good for our mental health. However, you may not realize just how bad it can be. Here are some reasons why you should avoid doomscrolling if possible.
It Can Keep You Up
Using your phone too close to bed can disrupt sleep already. However, if your mind is flooded with negative news, this can make it even more difficult to fall asleep. Having poor sleep can lead to mental health issues, and it can be a tough cycle to break.
It is Depressing
If you are already depressed, well, hearing depressing news won’t help things.
However, there’s more to it than that. Even if you aren’t, too much social media use can lead to depression. From FOMO to negative news, it can flood your body with stress hormones such as cortisol.
It Can Cause Information Overload
Being informed is good. However, if you have too much information and you don’t know what’s fact and what is not, it can cause anxiety and lead to you feeling like you’re going insane as a result.
It Makes it Difficult to See the Positive
While the world has its faults, doomscrolling can prevent you from looking at the positives in this world.
How Can You Stop It?
With all that said, how can you stop practicing doomscrolling?
It can be challenging. However, this is a form of self care you do need to try. Here are some tips to do so.
Remember, The Opposite Extreme is Bad as Well
In order to stop doomscrolling, should you go into the mountains and go off the grid? Chances are, that is not going to happen.
Instead, what you need to do is have a happy medium. Here are some ways to do so.
Keep Social Media to a Certain Time
Whether it’s the morning, during your break, or when you get home, pick a time. Do not scroll too early, as the bad news of the world can make you angry if you aren’t careful. Too late, and you risk staying up. When you try to stay at one time, make sure you are…
Being Mindful About it
As we said, you are sometimes scrolling on autopilot. That’s why it’s important for you to practice mindfulness.
Keep yourself in the present day, and be mindful of your body. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable because of the news, it’s valid for you to back off.
Also, to be in the present, ask yourself how you can make yourself happy at this moment. Don’t focus on the future.
When you are doomscrolling, you tend to find yourself thinking about the worst case scenario. These thoughts can permeate you and make it difficult for you to think straight. Learn to put these faults to a grinding halt.
Put Positive News on Your Feed
Follow news sources that deal with more positive news. By only focusing on the negative, you are not seeing the bigger picture of the world.
Use Apps for Wellness
Another way you can get help is to use apps that make you feel better. Meditation apps work well, and apps that can limit social media time can be useful, too.
Another way you can use apps to help is to download an online therapy app.
Technology is one of the reasons we doomscroll. With that said, technology can also help you heal.
One way it can is through online therapy. You can talk to a licensed therapist, and they can help you find the root of why you’re feeling this way.
In some cases, doomscrolling may be due to other factors going on with your life.
By going to a therapist, you can learn how you can look into yourself and use that to be able to seek help.
Now that you know it’s important to seek help, BetterHelp can help you with all the questions you have with life. In order to learn more about what they can do for you, please click here for more information.