We are often surrounded by news that is filled with tragedy and sorrow. Having that eerie feeling of hopelessness and sadness, especially during difficult times, often leads us to seek answers and solace on social media. And while social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have been resourceful in spreading awareness and news worldwide, they are also responsible for the overwhelming amount of information we consume, that might not always be good for us.
Sure, staying in the loop is imporant, but there are times when we find ourselves seeking out bad news without realising it. If you know what we’re talking about then you should also know that there’s a word for it now: doomscrolling.
Word of the Era!— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 31, 2022
Merriam Webster Dictionary says they are watching the increasing use of this term (along with “doomsurfing”). Increased consumption of predominantly negative news could have psychological ill effects, in addition to causing political depression…. pic.twitter.com/YoDJjtAuxe
Recently, Indian politician and writer Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to share the word, ‘Doomscrolling’ and called it the “Word of the Era”, encouraging an entirely new conversation around the term.
At the beginning of 2020 and 2021, when the entire world was suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic, many people were obsessively scrolling through negative and distressing news just to know more about the illness and to prepare themselves for the worst. Even today, when we have finally started moving on from the pandemic, we are still seeing people around the world dying due to war and the lack of gun control. Such events tend to create a storm on social media, whether we like it or not, resulting in more and more people going down the hole of distressing news. And while we have all been taught to read news to learn more, negative news, especially when consumed repeatedly, can leave you feeling upset and helpless. But however disturbing and upsetting people might find this news, some find it impossible to stop themselves from consuming it. Doomscrolling is said to have a direct impact on a person’s mental health, linking it with anxiety and even depression.
Which is why it’s time we let go of this unhealthy obsession. So, here six ways how you can put an end to doomscrolling.
How To Stop Doomscrolling
- Take notice of how you feel after reading the news. Does it make you feel upset, uneasy, or anxious? If yes, it’s time to keep your phone aside and do something that will make you feel better. If you still have an urge to know or read more, distract yourself with something.
- Avoid reading any kind of heavy news before falling asleep. It is very important to be in your most-relaxed state when you are in your bed to get good, sound sleep. Use apps that can block or restrict access to websites that share distubing news.
- If you feel heavy and uneasy after reading something that might have been disturbing, try consuming content that will make you feel happy and stress-free. You can watch a beauty hack or watch someone make the most satisfying cup of coffee, anything that sparks joy in you.
- Prioritise your mental health. If you come across something that makes you feel uneasy and upset, let go of it. It is alright to not know every detail of a distressing event.
- If you still feel unhappy and anxious, do not hesitate to speak to a mental health professional and seek help.
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