This is a quick post that I want to do to draw attention to an ongoing issue related to the internet. Its called doomscrolling and it happens when people get sucked into rabbit holes on the internet and social media. This post is aimed to educate readers of this blog to the topic. It also offers some advice as to how to break free and set healthy limits for yourself. If you have to take a break from this or other blogs, by all means do so. This blogger understands and I will be here for you when you get back. 😀
“Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.“
This blog needs to discuss an issue that is very important not only for this blog but for the mental health of everyone who reads it. This is not spoken about very much in the blogging world but I am seeing it in medical and mental health websites. So let’s talk about doomscrolling for a little bit and discuss this topic.
What is Doomscrolling?
The last few years have been difficult. We had a malignant narcissistic personality as a president who bullied, abused on twitter and social media because he had no conscious and was focused on himself. For the first time since 1918 the United States and the world was plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic. The stories about death, dying, how COVID-19 works has been hard to process. Then you had the George Floyd situation and the horrific video on a black man being killed in Minneapolis and the racial unrest that was triggered by it. Domestically there has been political instability, and the attack on the United States Capitol remains horrifying. Globally there has been the dark resurgence of nationalism in Europe, South America, Asia and other parts of the world. The last time this happened was in the 1930’s. There is also the economic problems linked to the pandemic. The unemployment, businesses closing, people struggling to get by as the economy is in decline. I was reading an article yesterday that talked about the huge uptick of people living in their cars because of becoming homeless. And if that is not enough there is all the natural disasters that have taken place. In the New York Times yesterday I was reading about how they are finding people who froze to death in Texas inside their home because of no heat during a difficult storm. But wait..THERE is one more that’s relevant here. There are bloggers like myself writing about some really dark issues inside evangelicalism. The Ravi Zacharias situation, sex abuse, domestic abuse, and other issues are also at play.
All of this leads to doomscrolling. What is doomscrolling? Glad you asked! 😀
Doomscrolling is being linked into the internet and social media in an unhealthy way. Its where all you do is read and process negative news. You become hooked to it and it consumes your life. From the time you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night its having a hard time detaching from the news and what you process on the internet. If I can let me add a personal observation from someone who has spent a lot of time researching on the internet. From the time I started in 2015 until 2021 I have observed he internet become darker. There are websites and social media that is intentionally putting out disinformation that is designed to play to your fears. That is complicating the situation for people who are not aware of these issues.
Doomscolling leads to the following:
- Mental health issues
And one other question if I can ask? Please note I am not a mental health expert. But can doom scrolling also lead to psychosis? For example did some of the January 6, 2021 rioters doomscroll inside a closed echo chamber and did that teach them to embrace an alternative reality? Is that why some of the January 6, rioters took to violence? This is just a question that I have. To learn more about doomscrolling read the following articles.
- Vox, “Doomscrolling, explained.”
- NPR, “Your ‘Doomscrolling’ Breeds Anxiety. Here’s How To Stop The Cycle.”
- Wired, “Doomscrolling Is Slowly Eroding Your Mental Health.”
Tips to Break Free From Doomscrolling
When it comes to social media and the internet these are some practical suggestions.
- Set a timer for how long you read the news.
- Set a limit for how many times you check social media each day.
- When you see difficult information fact check it to make sure its accurate.
- Exercise, get out and walk.
- Keep any portable electronic devices out of your bedroom so that you will not doomscroll in bed or the first thing you do when you wake up.
- Get a hobby. Get into collecting comics, model trains, fantasy football, build plastic models by Revell-Monogram, collect action figures, get into classic movies, etc…
- Have a block for an hour before you go to bed.
- Be careful about how much time you spend at blogs like mine and other similar themed blogs.
- You can subscribe to social media personalities on Twitter that regularly send out Tweets asking if you are doomscrolling? Here is an example by Karen Ho of New York City and Toronto. I have a sample of her below.
Here are some additional articles you can read that can help you with this topic.
- Huff Post, “10 Habits That Will Help Stop Doomscrolling And Boost Mental Health.”
- Washington Post, “The Internet wants to keep you ‘doom-scrolling.’ Here’s how to break free.”
- University of Washington Medicine, “How to Stop Doomscrolling — and Why You Should.”
This Blog Wants You to Take Care of Your Mental Health
Some of what I wrote above is hard. For example in normal times I would be swimming in a pool three to four times a week. But COVID-19 has prevented me from going to the gym. Its one of the things I am looking forward to when this pandemic is over. But in the meantime this blog wants people who reads it to take care of their physical and mental health. If you need a break from me that is fine. I will always be here. I am not narcissistic to where I will be angry as the blog statistics are not my driving factor. This blog aims to be a positive aspect to a dark internet. I have not seen this topic discussed much, if at all on other blogs. So I wanted to take a few minutes and address this issue here. Thanks everyone and enjoy the rest of your weekend.