Do you use your mobile phone to read informative content? Have you ever noticed what kind of news you are interested in? Positive or negative? If I'm one of the latter, it is very likely that you are victim of doomscrolling, a practice that gained particular importance during the quarantine.
Addiction to negative news, the reading of which can hook you for hours, now gets this name which comes from the word "doom" (doom, misery in English). It is an activity that can negatively affect your emotional well-being, which is why you should try to avoid it.
In this guide, we explain what exactly is doomscrolling and what you can do to banish it from your mobile once and for all.
What is doomscrolling and why avoid it
Doomscrolling is a negative practice that you have been able to do recently without realizing it.
The growth in the use of the mobile phone or smartphone in recent years has led to the creation of new terms related to technology which are gradually becoming popular. A good example is "nomophobia", a word that yes refers to the fear of leaving the house without a mobile phone.
In this article we will explain the meaning of an even more recent term, “doomscrolling”, born during the confinement experienced by the coronavirus. Not being able to leave the house normally, users have turned even more to their mobile phones to spend their free time.
Some of the activities that can be carried out with the terminal are positive, such as keeping in touch with loved ones via WhatsApp, and others more negative, how to entertain yourself by reading pessimistic information on the media and social networks.
This is what the term doomscrolling refers to, the addiction to reading negative news for hours and hours. As we say, this word has become popular during confinement, as many have spent excessive periods of time immersing themselves in this type of information. without realizing how this adversely affected their emotional well-being.
Healthcare professionals warn that reading negative news for hours can affect mental health
One of the first people to use this term on Twitter was Anne Helen Petersen, a BuzzFeedNews writer who mentioned it as one of her favorite practices to do during a period of social isolation, along with cooking or cleaning.
In recent months the word doomscrolling has spread and more and more users use it to name those hours they spend reading sad and depressing news on their mobile phones.
If you feel reflected with this practice, you already know that you are not its only victim. Indeed, its importance is such that the New Zealand has chosen it as the word of the year, as The Guardian reports.
The British media themselves are the ones who ensure that health professionals warn that reading negative news for hours can affect mental health, so we will see some tips to banish doomscrolling from your mobile.
How to banish doomscrolling when using your mobile
Being informed is always good, the problem comes when you don't know how to stop your addiction to reading negative information and this affects your emotional well-being.
To banish doomscrolling from your mobile, you can apply a number of practices that will help you limit the time you spend daily on this activity. First of all, we recommend that you use Google's Digital Wellbeing features to improve your relationship with your mobile.
This app, now mandatory for all Android devices, has specific tools to limit the daily use of the apps you are most fond of. In the case of doomscrolling, you can use Digital Wellbeing for reduce the time you spend on Twitter and Instagram a read negative news.
Digital Wellbeing is the Google app to improve your relationship with your mobile.
Another practice you can use to forget about doomscrolling is make it difficult to access applications where you consume that pessimistic information that hooks you so much. We mentioned Twitter and Instagram, two of the most popular currently, but it can also be Facebook, eg.
Change the shortcut to these apps in the last few screens of the app menu or save them in folders to make them even more hidden. This way, by not being so visible, it will help you reduce the number of times you log in during the day.
To banish doomscrolling from your mobile, it's also good use the terminal for more fun activities, like listening to music, playing your favorite games, or watching series on Netflix or HBO. Ending doomscrolling does not necessarily mean stopping using your phone in a radical way, but rather changing the way you use its features.
If the above advice doesn't work for you, you should try move away from screens (mobile, tablet or PC) for a period of time to reduce your interest in negative information. You can try leaving your cell phone in another room while doing different activities, always with the sound activated to know if you are receiving important calls or messages.
Finally, it is interesting to change the way you access information. As we said at the beginning of this section, being informed is good and ending doomscrolling is not synonymous with stopping keeping up with what is happening in the world.
For this reason, you can download apps from your favorite media to your mobile and enable notifications in so that they will instantly notify you when something important happens.
Thus, you will know the most relevant news without having to spend hours and hours reading negative information on social networks. This practice, and the ones mentioned above, will help you say goodbye to doomscrolling and all negativity that causes in you.
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