What is it and what can we do about it?

From a scientific point of view, doomscrolling is a relatively new phenomenon. But the endless scrolling through the depressing news from Facebook and co is a serious problem. We explain the problem and provide assistance to resolve it.

What is doomscrolling anyway?

Doomscrolling is, by definition, endless scrolling through news, social media, and comment columns on Facebook, Twitter, and co. We mostly consume negative content and therefore get into a depressing cycle.

The word creation is presumably first appeared on Twitter in 2018. It is made up of the English terms “Doom” and “Scrolling.” The first component “Doom” has several meanings and means doom, doom, doom or ruin.

In combination with the “displacement” that we all know, something like “fateful displacement” or “cursed displacement” arises, so that the meaning comes even without a completely correct German translation.

Why is scrolling Doom becoming a hazard right now?

Two factors play a role here.

On the one hand, there is the growing flood of information. It was not only known since yesterday that most of the news is negative. This trend has intensified due to the coronavirus and the resulting consequences.

On the other hand, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and company are designed in such a way that users can scroll more and more. The minds behind networks and feeds continue to offer new content. Ultimately, the goal is to stay on our own platform for as long as possible.

For example, anyone who opens Instagram every few minutes and tries to update the feed is already caught in the evolutionary trap. The same applies to the uncontrolled consumption of stories. Anyone noticing this should urgently reflect on their own behavior.

What is the cause of the Doom displacement?

As is often the case, there is a biological explanation for physical and human phenomena (addiction). It’s no different with Doom scrolling. In fact they come out loud here Neuroscientist Maren Urner two evolutionary biological factors together.

On the one hand, humans try to solve our own ignorance by obtaining information. The more data we obtain from our environment, the greater the chances of survival.

On the other hand, we quickly look for solutions in contact with the negative. In the case of social networks, this solution consists of scrolling further and hoping to find explanations for the problems and issues that have been encountered and raised.

How do we free ourselves from the displacement of doom?

As already described, doom scrolling is a dangerous phenomenon that affects our social skills and especially our interpersonal contacts.

After all, those affected often do not even notice that they are already on the smartphone again. Even the smallest breaks are used to open and update social networks. All of this is tied to the hope of quenching the greed for the news.

3 approaches to doom scrolling

Addiction and the psychological components alone show that there is no easy solution. The first step is to become aware of your own behavior. That means: determining when and how often you open Instagram and company unnecessarily.

Since it is a trained behavior or addiction, it is unlikely to be successful quickly. Help is provided, for example, by using time limits for applications, a black and white mode that removes the color factor, or setting offline times.

For example, anyone who simply leaves their smartphone at home during excursions or evenings with friends, or activates the flight mode, will quickly realize how relaxing the moment can be. At the same time, it is often clear to us how unimportant smartphones actually are. We rarely lose relevant information.

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Vince Fernandez

"Professional food trailblazer. Devoted communicator. Friendly writer. Avid problem solver. Tv aficionado. Lifelong social media fanatic."

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