Doomscrolling is a recent social media phenomenon. It’s something that can affect anyone on any social media platform. Whether you spend most of your time on TikTok or YouTube, doomscrolling can be something that has a daily impact on your wellbeing. Here’s what to know about doomscrolling and how to remove its effects from your life without the need to quit any of your favorite social media networks cold turkey.

What is Doomscrolling & How Do You Deal with It?

The Definition of Doomscrolling

Doomscrolling defines the act of going through any social media platform or timeline, and absorbing vast amounts of negative news or statuses in a short amount of time.

Another way to describe doomscrolling is when social media networks bombard the user (that’s you) with negative data. We usually can’t help ourselves. Even if what we see on our social media feed is depressing, sad or affects us in a negative way, we’ll keep scrolling believing that we are trying to stay informed.

However, doomscrolling is becoming a more common trend. As a result, it can have serious consequences if you struggle with depression or if doomscrolling turns into a habitual thing.

Why Do We Doomscroll?

A huge part of doomscrolling and media consumption is habitual. We are used to checking our phones. In addition, we are used to checking our social media accounts at least once every so often. This vicious cycle can easily pull you into a maelstrom of depressing, morbid news.

Out of habit, we continue scrolling even when the news stories we see start to affect us in a negative way. Usually, it’s not that you seek out negative news. Instead, the negative information is just there because of social media tags and cookies. In turn, they will keep suggesting more of the same bad news over a period of time.

The Potential Danger

Let’s say that you really like episodes of Doctor Who. Now, let’s imagine that your entire Netflix account switches only to episodes of Doctor Who for the next six months.

There’s nothing else to watch: just Doctor Who and shows that are about Doctor Who. Even if you were the show’s number one fan, you would eventually find the same topic overwhelming. You would get tired of it. It would get depressing. Yet, the suggestions would keep showing you the same Doctor Who episodes in a row.

This example describes the danger of doomscrolling in a nutshell, except you get to replace the suggestion of Doctor Who with the average doomscrolling post.

What’s in it for Social Media?

The idea behind most social media algorithms is that they want to show users suggested content based on what they have already seen and engaged with. Sometimes, this gets stuck on topics that are less than great for the user. However, if you keep looking, the content will continue to pile up.

How to Stop Doomscrolling

If you feel trapped in a social media bubble that shows you too many posts of the same, dark content, it could be time to make some changes to your social media profiles.

First, change the pages and groups that you frequent. Suggestions are often based on these choices you make.

Second, change your playlists, or enter random tags into the search bar. Repetitive changes like this can override the algorithm’s suggestions. Eventually, the algorithm will update to match that you, the user, wants to see different things.

Third, clear the cookies and cache. This is jargon for all the files that your computer or device picks up over time. Cookies and cache are things that sites refer to in order to make user content suggestions.

Distraction from Doomscrolling

If you have tried the methods described above and doomscrolling still gets the better of you on your social media accounts, it could be time to limit your screen time. Even in the tech age, it’s okay to close your social media accounts for a while or take a step back.

There are many things on the internet that will entertain you without getting you stuck in the doomscrolling loop.

Seeking Professional Help

Has social media gotten the best of you? Anxiety and depression are conditions that require maintenance and oftentimes treatment as well. There’s no shame in finding a therapist that can help you deal with your struggles.

If depression gets to you thanks to social media or doomscrolling, help and local mental health treatment are always available.

Our licensed mental health counselors at SAGE Counseling Omaha are ready to help you gain back control of your life over social media and doomscrolling. Contact us today to get the help you need.

SAGE Counseling Omaha

At SAGE Counseling Omaha, our primary focus is on helping you to get the support and treatment that you need as you move forward. We all experience challenges that are often too difficult to work through on our own, and we are here to support you during these tough times.

When you connect with our compassionate counseling team, you can rest assured that you will receive the individualized care that you need. Contact us today. For approved clients, we are able to utilize telehealth services through our HIPAA-compliant virtual software.