Humans are fascinated by bad news. The appeal of ‘wrong’ is a striking psychological phenomenon that baffles many researchers.
Just like we cannot look away from a car accident happening in front of our eyes, doomscrolling or endlessly scrolling through news feeds and social media content can feel soothing.
Doomscrolling is a modern equivalent of the late-night 11 o’clock news that many families watched before going to sleep.
People find a topic and then get sucked in a vortex of information, provided by never-ending news cycles. We are biologically driven towards attending to our worried mind and searching for answers about the things we are afraid of.
A survey conducted in Germany revealed that media exposure frequency, duration and diversity showed a sharp spike during a global crisis and that led to increased depression symptoms and anxiety.
Phone usage (beyond the normal 1 to 2 hours a day) has already been linked to anxiety, depression and a sedentary lifestyle which then leads to various diseases.
.. or GAD is when all the news and information make a bed inside your head and make it like a huge twitter feed of worries. Symptoms include muscle tensions, fatigue and depression. Doom Scrollers have similar, undiagnosed effects.
When we doom scroll, we are in a way practising for having GAD, just like running everyday changes our muscles, doomscrolling everyday changes our brain and psychology.
Doom scrolling is similar to gambling behaviour, as we scroll to find anything uplifting too, hooked on the expectation of seeing something good.
Just like a gambler keeps pulling the lever of a slot machine, we keep thumbing upwards to scroll through the newsfeeds.
Possible ways to stop or minimize doom scrolling can be:
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