You probably have heard that word in and out of social media but the funny thing is that Merriam-Webster is currently eying this word in regards to adding it to the dictionary. Doomscrolling refers to:
noun: “the act of reading the seemingly endless stream of upsetting news headlines that emerge on social media in times of distress.”
The irresistible draw of doom-scrolling comes from a “hurry-up-and-wait” instinct to seek out information on the pandemic or other societal issues, even if that information is scarce or incomplete. The reason is that everybody is hungry for any kind of information to feel less uncertain and less chaotic right now.
That hunger for information in times of crisis is hardwired into our biology, according to Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
With COVID-19, a big part of the problem is that the news is covering a rolling disaster rather than a one-off event. Unlike a hurricane or an act of terrorism, the pandemic has no borders and can feel inescapable at times.
Mary McNaughton-Cassill later said, “The problem with the news is also that oftentimes we are seeing really bad things that are happening, but there is no way for us as individuals to make a difference. And that’s very different than the history of humans. It has to do with technology and the media because there have always been pandemics and riots and disasters, but you only knew about the ones that were in your purview where you might actually be able to do something to respond.”
For those who struggle with the onslaught of bad news — and the journalists who cover that bad news — it’s important to set boundaries and, when you need to, take time to log off.
It’s important for us as believers to remember that it’s more crucial than ever to be careful about what we put in our body and in our mind because Philippians 4:8 reminds us:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
If you’d like to read the whole article that we referenced here from CTV News, click here!