"Doomscrolling" is Self-Harm for Your Mental Health

Posted by Andrew Jameson on

 

Nobody is really sure exactly where the term came from, but "doomscrolling" has entered the lexicon of American English recently. It's the act of scrolling endlessly through social media, consuming as much bad news as possible in hope of finding answers that never come. Wired Magazine recently published an article all about the trend, exploring the etymology of the term, the reasons people might engage in it, and the negative effects it can have on mental health. Whether it's COVID-19 news, protest reporting, or speculation about the next awful thing 2020 might throw at us, there's no end of bad news online. Social media, when used responsibly, can have positive effects on mental health. However, overuse can cause anxiety and depression, especially given how much negativity is right at our fingertips lately.

"Sometimes it’s OK to take a break and get some rest.” - Canadian journalist Karen Ho

Scrolling late into the night isn't just bad for your mental health. It can affect your physical health, too. According to OnHealth, the short wavelength blue light typically emitted by smartphones can cause eye strain and disrupt circadian rhythms, and may contribute to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. So remember: use social media responsibly, for instance, to keep in touch with family and friends, and when you crawl into bed at the end of a long day, try to limit the time you spend on your smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. The news will still be there tomorrow, and you'll be able to soak it in a little easier on a full night's rest.

 

Read the full article at Wired for more about the origins of the term, quotes from researchers, and more.

 


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