Doom scrolling is a term that’s been floating around since the beginning of quarantine. It’s defined as “that feeling when you can’t stop scrolling down Twitter, or reading news that you know will make you sad, anxious, or angry.”
Scrolling for long periods of time didn’t bother me in the beginning of quarantine—there was a lot of funny and thought-provoking content and I liked seeing updates on my friends’ lives since I hadn’t seen them in a long time. But then: the doom factor.
Doom is such an apocalyptic word and it perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being unable to look away from seeing one bad story after the other. In an interview with The Washington Post, the director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab at the University of Georgia, Sun Joo Ahn, says that people aren’t consciously looking for negative content, instead “a lot of information is negative these days, and we’re motivated to pay more attention to negative news—and remember it longer—because it has a direct [link] to our survival.”
While survival and staying informed may be important in a pandemic, it does get taxing to continuously expose yourself to negativity. Doom scrolling sustains the cycle of anxiety and can leave people feeling paralyzed with fear and distress. But since we’ve gone to that hole and back, we’ll be sharing some of the ways to break the cursed habit of doom scrolling—you don’t have to worry, you don’t have to go cold turkey.
Ask yourself why you are scrolling
There’s gotta be a point to everything and that includes social media. Use the internet and social media with a goal in mind. Always ask yourself: what’s the purpose? What are you looking for and what do you want to get out of this? Being aware of what you need from the internet can help you stop yourself from going down a rabbit hole of Google searches, Twitter threads and endless Instagram stories.
Clean up your feed
The perils of having over a thousand friends and followers on social media is that your feed can get very saturated very quickly. Like the point above, ask yourself why you need to see this and if there’s no good answer, then mute, unfollow and block are your next options. Consciously follow content that you want to see and are close to your passions and hobbies. To help you see content you prefer, interact with a post you like. Social media algorithms will take note of that and give you more recommendations based on what you’ve liked before.
Log out and do something else
Exiting social media apps can do wonders, especially when you know it’s going to get toxic. Always remind yourself that at any moment, you can log out and take some time off for yourself. You can clean your room, cook or binge watch that addictive TV show just because you can and because hey, you’ve got Smart Bro LTE-Advanced Pocket Wi-Fi that’s 2x faster than your old Smart LTE Pocket Wi-Fi anyway. If you’re worried about missing important calls or messages, unmute your phone and enable notifications from important people, that way you can get alerted without staring at your phone waiting.