Social media is a platform that modern-day society uses to consume news on a daily basis. Although it does hold value in allowing anybody with access to the internet to see and hear the news to update themselves on what’s going on in the world, too much of this can be a bad thing. We’ve all been there: sitting on your phone, about to go to bed or start a workout, and we decide to take a quick glance at our phone. We scroll through twitter and see a tweet that the economy is down. Then a tweet that COVID-19 numbers are up. Then a tweet about a natural disaster in a few states over from you. You continue on this trend, scrolling through anxiety-provoking tweets after anxiety-provoking tweets, building up the fear of impending doom within yourself, and the feeling of stress over the state of the world. Next thing you know, you’re mindlessly scrolling through social media and consuming every piece of negative news that the world has to offer, quickly getting subconsciously sucked into the void of “Doomscrolling”. Doomscrolling can be defined as the behavior of scrolling through social media and consuming never-ending pieces of the negative news cycle. It can be extremely harmful to your mental health and is a catalyst for anxiety.
We all have “DoomScrolled” before in our lives, some more than others, and it can have a serious lasting effect on our outlook on daily life. A good way to prevent doomscrolling is to identify when you’re doing it, and then put an end to it. If you find yourself diving into news topics that you know are negative, such as coronavirus numbers or natural disasters, try and steer away from any articles if you know it will stress you out, especially if you’re the type of person that gets very involved with whatever kind of media you’re consuming. If you have trouble forcing yourself away from these topics or off of an app, a great way to control this is to use a “time limit” function on your phone. Most phones allow you to set a time limit for the amount of screen time you spend on your phone, and more specifically individual apps. If you find yourself getting lost in these apps and spending hours on end doomscrolling, maybe set a 15–20-minute time limit on these apps. Your phone will then shut you out of these apps for the day, forcing you away from the apps.
A lot of the social media you consume can have a serious effect on your mental health, so it’s important to watch what you consume, similarly to how you have to monitor the food that you can consume.