Doomscrolling is the compulsive habit of constantly checking and reading news updates, particularly related to adverse or dire events such as natural disasters, political turmoil, or pandemics. The term is a play on the word “doomsaying,” which means predicting or warning of disaster, and “scrolling,” which refers to the act of scrolling through a news feed or other online content.
One example of doomscrolling is constantly checking updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus spread across the globe, many people found themselves compulsively checking news articles and social media posts for the latest updates on case numbers, deaths, and government responses. This can include refreshing a news website every few minutes or constantly checking social media for updates.
Another example of doomscrolling is constantly checking updates on natural disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires. People may find themselves refreshing news websites or social media feeds for updates on the severity of the disaster, the number of people affected, and the response from emergency services.
Doomscrolling can have both positive and negative effects. On the one hand, staying informed about current events and being aware of potential dangers can be important for personal safety and making informed decisions. On the other hand, constantly consuming negative news can affect mental health, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, or hopelessness. Additionally, doomscrolling can cause people to become desensitized to the constant influx of negative news, making it difficult to distinguish between what is truly important and what is not.
Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to negative news can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that nearly 60% of adults said that the news causes them stress. It’s crucial to find a balance and be mindful of how much news one is consuming and to take breaks if it starts to feel overwhelming. Taking regular breaks from the constant stream of information can help prevent burnout and reduce the risk of developing mental health issues associated with doomscrolling.
In conclusion, “Doomscrolling” is the term used for the compulsive behavior of constantly checking news updates, specifically detrimental news stories. While staying informed about current events is good, excessive exposure to negative news can harm one’s mental health.