Don’t Get Swallowed by the Doom Scroll
November 21, 2023
It’s important to stay informed on current events; however, when it feels like sad and frustrating news is around every corner, hopelessness can grow. Social media can be a great resource for information and connection, but reading every headline isn’t always the best strategy. Here are five tips to follow if you find yourself overwhelmed by the state of the world.
Out of sight, out of mind
Creating device-free or app-free spaces can clear your mind from the need to see and read social media.
- If you notice yourself compulsively checking an app, move it to the back of your phone or delete it altogether.
- Designate places in your home or in your daily routine where a phone or computer is not allowed.
- Block, mute, or unfollow certain words or accounts that are currently bringing you down.
Sound the alarm
It’s funny, and sometimes scary, how a quick social media check can turn into two hours of scrolling. Challenge yourself to stop the scroll.
- Set an alarm for 15-30 minutes and stick to that allotted time for your social media catch-up. Immediately close the app once the time is up.
- Turn off push notifications to help limit the pull to see what’s happening.
Not so old news
A recent health study found that people who got their news via print newspapers or television reported fewer symptoms of depression and overwhelm than those who did on social media. Rather than catching up on the day’s news via X or TikTok, head over to your favorite news outlet’s website.
Trolls under the bridge
You may come across posts or comments that make you feel frustrated enough to respond. While the beauty of social media allows us to interact with those around the globe, seeing differing opinions can lead to impulsive exchanges.
- See something you believe to be untrue? Review your facts before you draft a response.
- Disengage from the conversation when you notice the conversation may have no end, your point isn’t getting across, or it takes a hostile turn. It’s okay to let others have the last word.
- Avoid crafting a public response altogether and opt for a phone call or private message.
Inhale, exhale, and repeat
Above all, holding stress in your mind and body can lead to decreased physical and mental health. Knowing how to recognize and manage these feelings can lessen their negative impact.
- Do something fun away from the screen to take your mind off social media.
- Stay on top of your regular sleep and eating routines to limit compounding areas where your body can’t relax and recharge.
- Re-center your mind with stress reduction and mindfulness exercises.
- Connect with licensed advocates and mental health professionals at Student Counseling Services, Boynton Mental Health, or using the Employee Assistance Program if your feelings are too much to bear.
You have the power to control how you use social media and how it can serve you. While new stories populate all day, it’s okay to miss them. They will always be there when you get back.