Salary, which is not enough for anything; wars that do not stop; exploding trains; spy balls; politics… The current global outlook is not optimistic, that’s clear: but from there, unable to stop absorbing negative news, there is a stretch. That’s what the so-called Gscroll: Spending too much time watching news that only talks about how bad (or terrible) things are.

Just check out Google Trends to find out how the term became popular. It was in November 2020 when the word reached its highest search level in the United States, eight months after the international health organization’s warning.

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This is true. Who hasn’t seen themselves while incarcerated obsessively navigating through endless articles or negative posts that not only offered no tools for decision-making, but also evoked feelings of helplessness or sadness? While it is possible to recognize this attitude (or doomscrolling, if one attempts to give an early definition), who left their cell phone behind to take a short walk or read a novel? Confession is open.

What is doomscrolling?

In a 2020 article in the “Words We Watch” section, Merriam-Webster explained that doom scrolling and doom surfing are terms that refer to the tendency to keep navigating bad news, even if it is sad, discouraging, or depressing. “Many people constantly read the bad news about COVID-19 without being able to stop or take a step back,” the message says.

Fatal scrolling has predominated because the consumption of articles or reports is now done from the palm of a smartphone, in which a swipe gesture (vertical scrolling on the display) is needed to move from one section to another. Doom – the other component of the word – can be shortened to “doom” or “doom”.

If you want to mark your origins online, you need to at least go back to 2018 when @Callamitys tweeted that he intends to take a break from the fate scroll.

Take a break from the scrolling of thoughts and be littered with things and stuff. I’ll be back Tuesday or something. Here is the thing I do.

— Callamity (@Callamitys) October 7, 2018

However, in all its digital years, Google has said it has more searches than ever before globally in 2021. another attempt to conceptualize the term.

terrain doomscroll

Difficult or turbulent times – the perfect soil for scrolling fate? Just as it seems inevitable to ignore an incoming notification on your mobile phone, it is also almost impossible not to want to know about the progress of COVID-19 or Russia’s war in Ukraine, which leads to countless articles that “appear” in different feeds.

This security provided by awareness is combined with an algorithm that everyone wears on their devices, resulting in a list of posts (with bad news) that are effectively hooked to waste more time than should be in front of them. .to the screen.

According to the BBC, recent research supports a link between anxiety and depression with consumption of COVID-19-related information and increased time spent on smartphones.

Pamela Rutledge, director of the California Media Psychology Research Center, told the publication that fate scrolling uniquely describes people’s obsessive need to try to get answers when they’re afraid. “We are biologically forced to do this,” he said.

Man looking at his cell phone
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Just as importantly, journalism plays with this need, especially headlines, which, in the director’s opinion, seek to grab readers’ attention at all costs.

Nor can one ignore the momentum that various conspiracy theories had during the health emergency, based on the supposed power argument of knowing certain information that other people don’t.

In other words, doomscrolling has everything to keep growing, such as user time, the availability of articles across platforms, and above all, an unprecedented situation – be it a health emergency or the war in Ukraine – that motivates you to want to stay up to date. However, it can also be reversed.

Stop scrolling fate

A man does yoga in the living room of his house with one of the best meditation apps

Mental health story-sharing site Happyful has a series of tips for breaking this vicious cycle that can lead to fatal scrolling, from finding activities that make everyone feel good to setting a time to check your phone.

  • Make morning sacred. It seems like a common thing to check your cell phone after an alarm goes off, but what happens if those first few minutes go offline? Wouldn’t it be more useful to use them, for example, for meditation?
  • Set a time to check your phone. The fact that it is always at hand, on your desk or in your pocket, does not mean that it should turn on uncontrollably. Whether it’s early in the morning or before bed (if possible), it’s best to set specific times of the day to keep an eye on your phone, such as during dinner or after the kids have gone to bed. And so that doomscrolling does not appear, it is convenient to assign periods of 20 or 30 minutes to this activity.
  • Know how everyone feels. It is important to wonder how each of them feels more often (and even more so when this obsessive need to check a cell phone is revealed). Morning is recommended for this, but any time is actually good. Is it appropriate to keep a diary to process these feelings? Yes, just like meditation or any other tool (whatever it is, the important thing is to use it often).
  • Use the stop technique. If you suddenly find yourself in a doomscrolling circle, the best thing to do is to say aloud: “Stop!”, hang up, move your body and go to another room (which will change the physical state). Anything to return to the here and now.
  • Find an activity that replaces doomscrolling. How about picking up or starting a book? Or call or text a friend to see how they are doing? The idea is to find something that gives you a sense of well-being, with the intention of quickly turning it into a hobby or positive habit.
  • Visit inspirational sites. It’s best to make a list of those pages or social networks that help you feel more positive, with a promise to visit them regularly. They should be seen as an “antidote” when hopelessness sets in and a push is needed.

Limiting thought scrolling is one way to take control, though it’s conceivable that more help is needed, such as getting a professional to explore thoughts and feelings in a safe environment, Happyful concludes.

Source: Digital Trends

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I am Garth Carter and I work at Gadget Onus. I have specialized in writing for the Hot News section, focusing on topics that are trending and highly relevant to readers. My passion is to present news stories accurately, in an engaging manner that captures the attention of my audience.


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