Do you catch yourself doomscrolling very often?
Before you answer, make sure you understand what “doomscrolling” means. According to Merriam Webster, doomscrolling is a new term “referring to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news” on your smartphone or computer.
The term seems to have originated in 2018, although it might be older. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, doomscrolling is more relevant than ever.
Staying informed about the pandemic is extremely important, but we must make sure to realize when our internet use makes us feel overwhelmed, isolated or anxious. If those moods sound familiar to you, then you probably have been doomscrolling. Read on to learn how to stop and how to substitute doomscrolling for habits that actually work to your advantage.
Moderate Your Media Consumption
This is easier said than done nowadays, but it’s a step that goes a long way toward preserving your mental balance. Limit the time you spend doomscrolling on your smartphone or watching news on the TV. Another option is setting aside some news-free time every day so you can pay attention to your own needs, or simply relax and decompress.
Become More Discerning
A good guideline to avoid doomscrolling may be consuming less information while becoming more discerning about the quality of the news you allow yourself to access. Memes or viral videos are not great ways to stay informed, so you may want to reduce the time you spend on social media. By limiting your news consumption to a few reliable sources you’ll make sure to get only verified information that’s not blown out or proportion.
Less Doomscrolling, More Self-Care
After you have changed your media habits according to the above rules, dedicate the extra time to self-care activities. It may be exercise, a long bath, or a conversation with someone whose company you enjoy. The key is breaking the extenuating cycle of information consumption so you can redirect that energy to yourself. You deserve it, and the rewards are well worth the effort.
Help Your Children Develop Safe Online Habits
If adults are so worried that they doomscroll most of the time, just think how children must feel. Kids may not always say it, but the changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic make them feel anxious as well. Use these guidelines to teach your children how to develop safe online habits.
- Communicate openly
- Establish rules about when and where to use devices
- Enable parental controls on the devices they use
- Teach them to keep their personal information private
- Spend time with them online
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