Doomscrolling is slowly eroding your mental health

Doomscrolling is slowly eroding your mental health

Enlarge (credit: Joel
SorrellGetty Images)

It’s 11:37pm and the pattern shows no signs of shifting. At
1:12am, it’s more of the same. Thumb down, thumb up. Twitter, Instagram, and—if
you’re feeling particularly wrought/masochistic—Facebook. Ever since the
COVID-19 pandemic
left a great many people locked down in their homes in early March,
the evening ritual has been codifying: Each night ends the way the
day began, with an endless scroll through social media in a
desperate search for clarity.

To those who have become purveyors of the perverse exercise,
like
The New York Times’Kevin Roose
, this habit has become known
as doomsurfing, or “falling into deep, morbid rabbit holes filled
with coronavirus content, agitating myself to the point of physical
discomfort, erasing any hope of a good night’s sleep.†For
those who prefer their despair be portable, the term is
doomscrolling, and as
protests
over racial injustice and police brutality following
the death of George Floyd have joined the COVID-19 crisis in the
news cycle, it’s only gotten more intense. The constant stream of
news and social media never ends.

Of course, a late-night scroll is nothing new—it’s the kind
of thing therapists often hear about when couples say one or the
other isn’t providing enough attention. But it used to be that
Sunday nights in bed were spent digging through Twitter for Game of
Thrones hot takes, or armchair quarterbacking the day’s game.
Now, the only thing to binge-watch is the world’s collapse into
crisis. Coronavirus deaths (473,000 worldwide and counting),
unemployment rates (around 13 percent in the US), protesters in the
street on any given day marching for racial justice (countless
thousands)—the faucet of data runs nonstop. There are unlimited
seasons, and the promise of some answer, or perhaps even some good
news, always feels one click away.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Doomscrolling is slowly eroding your mental health