habit Of Doomscrolling

‘Doomscrolling’ is another common practice causing depression

Doomscrolling habit

What is Doom’s day?

Knowing and controlling doomscrolling helps o live better.

We all know that one day, the world will end. It is a belief of every person in the whole world.

All alive religions have told their followers that doom's day is a reality, and it will occur when there will be God’s will.

Recent events happening in the world has made people believe that doom's day is quite near. It is coming soon to the planet Earth.

Even scientists have predicted many unusual changes in the planet Earth as well as space.

Doom's day has become reality all over the world when Covid-19 sealed whole world, killing millions of people, destroying big economies and death seemed lurking everywhere in the world.

With this mindset, people have started reading, sharing and listening negative news justifying doom's day arrival.

What is Doomscrolling?

Effects of Doomscrolling

The definition of Doomscrolling is explained by Ariane Ling, PhD, a psychologist and clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at NYU Langone Health in New York.

Doomscrolling is the act of ‘endlessly scrolling down one’s news apps, Twitter, and social media and reading bad news’.

This habit makes people read bad news continuously. They keep on thinking about the bad news all the time.

She further explains the reason behind Doomscrolling on daily basis…

“The pandemic has exacerbated these habits in many ways, including the fact that there is no shortage of doomsday news,” she said.

The news on Covid-19 pandemic has given more bad news to the readers and they become habitual doomscrollers.

Psychologists say that the obsessive probing for information can have plentiful mental health effects, including an increase amount of stress.

On the contrary, it is a good idea to stay tuned with the latest updates and information regarding pandemic, and dying economies.

It could benefit the readers in order to keep themselves safe from the pandemic and also take prompt steps in getting hired on new and in-demand jobs, or start working from home as it is emerging a new work culture worldwide.

Limit is to everything

Psychologists and mental health workers suggest that people should put limit on what they see and read on social media on daily basis.

They should limit their time for doomscrolling by engaging themselves in some productive activities at home.

The main point is to limit the screen-time used in doomscrolling by setting timers on daily news and updates or deleting those apps which love to share bad news as part of their job.

Real life example of a doomscroller

Katie, 26 years old, is Ohio-based speech therapist. She admits that she is a doomscroller.

She regularly signed in to social media handles to check what is happening around her. She also Googles latest news and updates more than 10 times in a day.

According to statistics, the trend of Doomscrolling habit that has “increased significantly” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katie’s main concern is knowing about what is happening around her and also to reassure herself again and again that everything will be ok, and soon things will go back to normal.

Katie says that “I’m very scared about the idea of going back [to school] before there’s a vaccine or reliable treatment available in market,” she told Healthline.

I doomscroll because ‘I do it with the intention of lessening my anxiety.’

In this hope of reducing anxiety and be in control of the situation, Katie feels she ends up getting more anxious and more demotivated about her situation.

Statistics show latest updates about doomscrolling on social media… 

Data analysis shows that Twitter’s daily use numbers have soared 24 percent since the start of the pandemic, while Facebook’s numbers are up 27 percent.

Patricia Celan, a psychiatry resident at Dalhousie University in Canada, told Healthline that ‘This is an evolutionary habit, as we like to familiarize ourselves with dangers in order to gain a sense of preparedness and control.’

In addition, she is apprehensive about the changing habits and behaviors of people who are doomscrolling obsessively.

She says, “Unfortunately, doomscrolling has worsened during the pandemic because people are hypervigilant for danger and are more likely to seek information in hopes of finding a way to control the problem’’.

But they get stressed-out, think about future more frequently, and get anxious or in severe cases people experience panic attacks accompanied with heart palpitations and heart racing symptoms.

Physical and psychological effects

Former researches have already shown a connection between extreme social media use and amplified feelings of depression and loneliness.

Preoccupying over flood of news and social media increases the chances of feeling self-isolation.

These feelings, later lead to the risk of negative mental health including anxiety disorder, panic attacks and depression.

How to reduce the habit of Doomscrolling?

When we adopt certain habits some of them are good, and some are bad, but with little effort we can make a difference in changing our bad or addictive habits.

In the same way, the habit of Doomscrolling can be controlled by limiting the screen-time of smartphone.

Delete all unnecessary apps to clear the clutter from your smartphone that is filled with bad and devastating news and happenings.

When you feel urge to look for any news on social media, start visualizing yourself of having side effects from watching this news. If you feel irritated or anxious then change your place and start reading some positive and motivational book or quotes online.

You can read more about Doomscrolling

About The Author

Rabia Shaukat

Rabia Shaukat is a person of many talents. Mostly she loves to write on various and diverse topics on life. Born, brought up and schooled in Lahore, now she currently resides in the United States of America (USA) with family.