Doomscrolling is not a healthy coping method


Doomscrolling and doomsurfing are terms referring to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. Many people are finding themselves reading continuously bad news about COVID-19 without the ability to stop or step back. “(Miriam-Webster)

I fell down the doom scrolling rabbit hole yesterday and I wasn’t the only one.

illustrated image of a woman with her head on the laptop looking tired or frustrated.

Doomscrolling is not a healthy coping method yet many of us are attempting to cope this way. Doomscrolling is not activism. It’s one thing to be informed, it’s another to just sit and scroll, scroll, scroll, refresh, scroll, react, refresh, scroll, scroll, react, scroll.

“Now, the only thing to binge-watch is the world’s collapse into crisis.” said Angela Wattercutter of WIRED, in 2020 when she wrote the article Doomscrolling Is Slowly Eroding Your Mental Health. In the article, Nicole Ellison, who studies communication and social media at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, talked about how doomscrolling creates a “lot of demand on cognitive processing to make sense of this. There’s no overarching narrative that helps us.” That, she adds, only compounds the stress and anxiety they’re already feeling. <—- This is what happened to me yesterday when I heard the news of Roe v. Wade.

Ellison says. “Combine that with the fact that, socially, many of us are not going into work and standing around the coffee maker engaging in collective sense-making, and the result is we don’t have a lot of those social resources available to us in the same way.”

“Collective sense-making” – I think that is what I am looking for when I doomscroll. It doesn’t work. Instead I get more and more disappointed, sad, hurt, and frustrated. Sometimes I find small glimmers of hope like yesterday when I read Matt Linder’s tweet about Lauren Hobart’s, CEO of DICK’s Sporting Goods (the store with the unfortunate name but compassionate CEO) reaction of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Her reaction was to make the world a bit safer for her employees during this challenging times. Thank you Lauren Hobart for your exemplary leadership. 

Text of quote from Lauren Hobert, CEO of DICK's sporting goods "While we do not know what decision each state will make in response to this ruling, we at DICK’S Sporting Goods are prepared to ensure that all of our teammates have consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide, regardless of the state in which they live.</p>
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<p>In response to today’s ruling, we are announcing that if a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion, DICK’S Sporting Goods will provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to travel to the nearest location where that care is legally available. This benefit will be provided to any teammate, spouse or dependent enrolled in our medical plan, along with one support person."

Obviously, I don’t have the answers to the problems our society is currently facing. One thing I do strongly believe is we need to spend more time talking with each other having compassionate conversations. The kind of conversations where we listen to what the other person is saying, even if we don’t agree with them. If we don’t start working to bridge our differences our bridge is going to collapse. We are living in the United States of Fear and fear is not fixing any thing.

I invite you to walk away from the screens today and take a break from doomscrolling. Summer is ticking away quickly. Do something different today. Take a walk. Write a handwritten letter. Meditate. Call someone just to say hi.

Thank you for reading this far. I made it through my #blogaday for 10 days. When I started blogging again 11 days ago I had no idea where this would lead me. I had planned to blog whatever randomness spilled onto the keyboard and didn’t expect anyone to actually read it. But so many of you have been reading and leaving comments and sending me private notes and reaching out to me. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “Doomscrolling is not a healthy coping method

  1. Betsy De Fries

    Well done on reaching your 10 + day goal! After a day of bitter disappointment, anger, frustration and loss now we organize to get out the VOTE and VOTE like our collective lives depend on it. It does.

  2. Vicki

    I think I need to rent an RV, pack up the dogs and go help get out the vote in red states … who wants to come with me?
    Thanks for the blogs Sally!

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