September 25, 2021 29 Comments

In these times, when we are mostly glued on our mobile phones or laptops , it is very common phenomenon that whenever we come to know an unpleasant news, our first response is to Google about it . We read more and more about it, though most of the resources just have the same information. Many a times,the language is also the same. This behaviour is given a new name – DOOM SCROLLING OR DOOM SURFING. It’s natural to want to know more about a concerned situation or confirm some information / news, but the level of online engagements which we induldge in is proving to be detrimental to mental and physical health.

The pandemic has forced us being indoors and the little mobile phone became our window to the world. The work from home made us sit in front of computer or laptop in the comfort of our homes and as no collegues around for interactions has also resulted in unnecessary scanning of the information all line.

Doom scrolling has become more prevalent during Covid 19 pandemic as people were searching on line for the latest information about Covid19 on the only available resource which is internet. Lockdown has curtailed our access to print media. Social media became the favourite medium to share all news / information.

Doomscrolling, the compulsion to engross oneself in negative news, maybe the result of an evolutionary mechanism where humans are “wired to look for and anticipate danger”.As Pamela Rutledge, director of a California-based Media Psychology Research Center, says that “doomscrolling really just describes the compulsive need to try and get answers when we’re afraid”.  After all, we do have to assess whether new information constitutes a threat. “We are biologically driven to attend to that,” says Rutledge.

Doom Scrolling has a negative conotation about it. People generally have a natural inclination towards negative bias when consuming content. Mesfin Bekalu, a research scientist at the Harvard’s THC School of Public Health, notes that , “as humans we have a ‘natural’ tendency to pay more attention to negative news.” This, along with social media algorithms, makes doomscrolling—and its impacts—almost inevitable. “Since the 1970s, we know of the ‘mean world syndrome, which refers to the belief that the world is a more dangerous place to live in than it actually. It was actually the result of long-term exposure to violence-related content on television. Bekalu says. “So, doomscrolling can lead to the same long-term effects on mental health unless we mount interventions that address users’ behaviors and guide the design of social media platforms in ways that improve mental health and well-being.”

Sharing some pointers to check and correct the DOOM Scrolling habit-

  1. Information consumption – As we feel bored, we just pick up our phone and start scrolling social media sites or news. Be aware about how do you want to spend your time. Time is money, so spend carefully.
  2. Be a Media Literate – You might be wondering how come internet or Google knows about my interest? The information we receive is generally customised according to our interests and what we search on any search engine. So, we are bombarded with the similar kind of stuff. Technology is designed to capture our attention towards our interests at that point of time. So be aware of the time wasted in scrolling the similar kind of stuff. Control the urge.
  3. Varified Sources of Information – Internet is full of enumerable websites full of information. Select some authentic resources and scroll down only them instead of multiple plateforms which are vying for your attention.
  4. Minimise Screen Time – We have been on our screens more than ever. Our devices have become our work place and also our entertainment zones. This increases the screen time a lot and we have stopped doing any other activity. Do engage in other hobbies or activities to minimize the screen time. When one is engaged in other activities , some physical activity is bound to happen which is also the need of the hour.
  5. Spread Good Vibes Online – One positive post can start a wave of good vibes. Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter have the power to amplify a message and spread it to every corner of the globe. It is also found that people are more likely to share and engage with posts that promote positivity. Want to make happiness go viral?

Let us control our doom surfing habit for spreading cheer in and around our physical world! Do what so many people are doing to cope — go for a walk, take a break from your screens, stay active.


This is my fourth post for #MYFRIENDALEXA2021. You can read my earlier posts at –

First post

Second Post

Third Post

29 thoughts on “DOOM SURFING”

  1. Doomscrolling Is a new world I learned today. Though we all did same many a times. Great pointers to avoid this and to maintain our sanity.

  2. This is a word my daugther uses a lot. Sometimes no news is good news. We should stop watching things if they disturb us.

  3. I didn’t know there was a word for this…exactly it is doom scrolling and then spiraling in negative news. Hope to stick by the pointers of this post and stay happier.

  4. doom scrolling has been a very prevalent practice during the past 2 years, it has been seen that people at times forward information which is non-verified such behavior could cause problems for many people.

  5. Your post is on point. Such an apt term “doom scrolling”. It is like watching a trainwreck and cannot look away. Social media earlier this year during the second wave did a number on our mental health. FOMO be damned, we need to get away once it begins to get overwhelming.

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