What Is Doomscrolling And What Are Its Ill-effects On Mental Health? How To Get Rid Of This?

by Shatakshi Gupta

The corona pandemic has not only affected people’s physical health but mental health also.People have been consuming corona related news for so long on the internet. People have consumed so much negative news that it starts affecting them mentally.This habit or obsession of consuming negative news is called doomscrolling or doom surfing. Now, let us understand this in a detailed manner.

So, what is Doomscrolling?

 According to an article published in The Germinate, “when you are constantly scrolling through negative or depressive news, it is called doom surfing or doomscrolling.” It’s also common to keep scrolling through disturbing news for more information. Your mind motivates you to read more negative news than positive.

Ever since this pandemic has started, many of us cannot stop ourselves from constantly consuming news related to the pandemic and the people battling it. People constantly, albeit inadvertently, keep checking other websites and channels to know some new information. Interestingly, such obsessionwith negative news is not a new thing among people, our brain tends to read more negative news than positive news.

How doomscrolling affects our mental health?

Doomscrolling does not show any immediate ill-effects on mental health. However, in a long run, it can have a cataclysmic impact on your mental health. Theconstant negativity badly affects our mental health and due to this, there can be a lot of fear, anxiety, depression.Catastrophizing can also happen due to constant negative news, due to which you start seeing only negativity everywhere.

Also, the screen time of people is increasing continuously. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, the average screen time of people in India has gone up to four to five hours. According to a study conducted in America, the usage time of gadgets has increased by 90% globally.


Also read: Physical and Mental Benefits of Meditation

Nowadays, for people, it is very difficult to stop the use of social media or digital devices even for a day. Social media helps in staying connected with each other, sharing information, providing entertainment. It has both advantages and disadvantages. However, spending too much time on it is like an addiction.

How can we control this?
  • Reduce time spent on social media. Nowadays phones have a special feature, which can keep a record of how much time you are spending on which app. Keep track of this feature will keep you up to date. Avoid using mobile phone before sleeping and immediately after getting up. If possible, keep your mobile away from the bed.
  • Try to come out of a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise releases neurotransmitters, which have ‘feel-good’ effects.  Yoga and meditation also help in relieving stress.  Along with this, take a healthy and balanced diet and avoid eating unhealthy things while scrolling your phone.
  • Whatever you are doing, do it with mindfulness.  That is, if you are doing anything like reading, writing, painting, then do it wholeheartedly. Don’t get distracted by scrolling your mobile again and again.  While reading any news, definitely check its source.  Also, read positive news and also share them with friends or family.
  • If your obsession is so strong and you are not able to reduce mobile scrolling, then adopt the screaming technique. If you think you’ve run out of screen time, yet your fingers keep scrolling the screen, shout out loud and tell yourself to stop. Doing this will stop your hands. When you do this several times, your brain will be ready to stop whatever you are doing after so many minutes.

Also read: How COVID-19 is posing challenge to mental health of India?