Are you falling into the chasm of doomsday scrolling? And how to save yourself?
So, how did you start your day today? Let me guess! You woke up early to achieve new goals for the day. You check updates to know what’s going around and what you got? The number of new covid cases, death rates, new virus variants, black fungus, white fungus, and so on. Your morning starts with all negative news. Adding more stress and anxiety.
Human is a social animal. We can not keep ourselves from social interactions. But during this lockdown phase we are stuck inside our homes and to keep us entertained there a few things left. The major ones are smartphones or, TV, with them we lose track of time. We keep binge-watching series or keep scrolling. And getting more and more deeper into the swamp of SNS.
According to an August 2020 survey, a smartphone user in India spent an average of 3 hours and 14 minutes each day. In comparison, this was at about 3.22 hours before the coronavirus pandemic. This drop was due to a ban on some popular apps.
What is exactly Doomsday Scrolling?
In simple words, it is the tendency to internet surfing or, scrolling even tho the news is sad, depressing. Whether it’s relatable or not to you but you keep on scrolling in the hope to find something new.
The word came from an article in the Los Angeles Times that includes about how coronavirus has added a new glossary of words in our lives.
Consequences of doomscrolling
Frequent usage of social media has become a behavioral addiction. For instance, a person who frequently posts his/her selfies may appear of narcissistic disposition or, seeing others pictures may make one’s insecure about themselves.
This affects greatly on mental health. Creating a sense of fear, anxiety, stress and these days by the ongoing news around the world. You’ll see further the same things in this circularity as social media algorithms work this way. We are consuming data without knowing whether the information is important to us or not.
In an April 2020 survey, Over 50% of Indian urban youth say their life well-being was strongly affected during the covid-19 lockdown.
Why we are so habituated to smartphones?
Smartphones or apps are designed this way to get people absorbed in them. For instance, you watch a video on Youtube and it will show 10 more recommendations. Thus, you go on watching videos. Another example is Instagram reels, they are short and it more comfortable to keep on scrolling.
When we saw positive or a piece of negative news it results in a high-level release of Dopamine ( a neurotransmitter and helps in controlling the body movements of a person). A proper balance of dopamine is important for physical and mental well-being.
Smartphones are the only way to communicate during this coronavirus pandemic. And to keep us entertained through jokes, memes, movies, etc. Another reason to keep you busy.
We seek an easy way to approach problems and mobile phones can make our tasks a lot easier. Here, we don’t need to use our brains and get work done in seconds.
How can we keep ourselves from doomscrolling?
Keep a time track to limit your phone usage. Be it 30 minutes or an hour. Many applications show your daily time spent on any particular app. This way you can easily monitor yourself.
Push the notification button off. Particularly of those apps on which you think you spend most of your time.
Be aware of the information you are consuming. Is it genuine or not? Sometimes, false information is the reason for stress. Use only trustworthy websites.
Choose a hobby that keeps you occupied. At that time keep your phone on airplane mode so you won’t get disturbed.
Don’t keep your phone near your bed. Otherwise, using your phone will be the first thing in the morning you would likely do.
Avoid seeing any screen after waking up and before sleeping for an hour at least. Spend this time on activities you were thinking for a long time to do but didn’t get time.
Try to stay more offline. If there is more death news or more cases, then see the positive side also. Some people are recovering and coming together to help each other. Make use of this time to enhance your skills and be productive. Stay safe and positive.