What is Doomscrolling?
If you find yourself endlessly scrolling through negative news and social media content, you’re doomscrolling. It has become a more prevalent phenomenon in recent years, with social media and news outlets becoming more pervasive and accessible.
Why can it be a bad thing?
The effects of doomscrolling can be detrimental to our mental health and well-being. Exposure to a seemingly endless stream of negative information can lead to feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, dread and depression. It can also impact our ability to sleep and focus on other tasks, leading to a decrease in productivity and our overall quality of life.
So what can we do?
There are lots of ways you can avoid doomscrolling and protect your mental health.
Unfollow negative accounts - limiting your exposure to negative accounts will reduce your exposure to triggering or upsetting content, and will give you more control over the type of content in your social feed.
Find reliable sources - make sure the news sources you're following are reliable and trustworthy. This will help to reduce the amount of false or sensationalised information you're exposed to, and improve your ability to stay informed without feeling overwhelmed.
Set yourself time limits - it’s sometimes hard, but limiting yourself to a particular amount of time on social media can help you avoid getting sucked into an endless cycle of scrolling and clicking, and give you more control over the content you consume.
Take a break - if you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with negative news or information, get up and do something else for a while, like going for a walk or doing something practical. This can help you reset and refocus.
Learn to recognise your triggers - pay attention to the things which make you feel negatively when scrolling online. This will allow you to be more aware of those influences which should be limited, blocked, muted or unfollowed.
Focus on positive content - instead of focusing on negative news or social media, seek out positivity, following accounts that share uplifting stories or motivational content.
Talk to a friend or professional - if you're feeling genuinely overwhelmed by negative news or social media, consider talking to a friend or mental health professional. They may be able to help provide support and perspective, and offer strategies for managing your mental health in the face of negative news and information.