Scrolling through social media mindlessly has been a habit building up for many years by lots of people, and whilst many people do this every day and see no real problem in doing so, it's actually a much bigger problem that a lot of people realise.
Doom scrolling is the act of scrolling through social media and following the news, specifically, bad news.
At the height of the pandemic in 2020, the estimated number of social media users who doom scrolled more than doubled.
It significantly affects mental health and productivity, more than you probably realise.
Clear links have been discovered between social media and depression.
The anxiety and depression social media causes is universal, it cuts across all demographics. Effectively everyone, no matter how young or old, uses social media to deal with boredom, loneliness, or stress, it acts as a temporary distraction from the stress and many other problems which can easily compound in the time they waste scrolling.
We scroll through social media and take in all this new knowledge which is more or less useless or just flat out negative at a rapid rate.
We then form subconscious opinions about this new information that we get, these opinions could then affect us positively or negatively, it's essentially gambling with your happiness.
Actively picking other ways of spending your screen time, like movies or video games, is another great way to deal with stress or boredom without this risk as you can be in control of what you're watching, whereas you can't control the news or what you see in your feed.
So the question is, how can you stop the excessive scrolling?
The use of social media is a behavioural act, spurred by numerous things such as a fear of missing out, or even boredom.
But stopping yourself from procrastinating in this way can be challenging, especially if social media use is already part of your everyday routine.
But here are a few tips you can try out to reduce your scrolling habits on social media and make your day more productive.
Restricting your social media usage to a certain amount of time would certainly help prevent you from scrolling.
You can decide to schedule your day and map out an hour or two for social media use or just track how much time you spend on it through the day and once you reach your limit, you're done for the day!
Timing your social media use not only reduces screen time, but increases your self-discipline, and productivity meanwhile reducing procrastination time.
Scrolling through social media is an answer we give to the questions of boredom, stress and curiosity.
However, we need to realise social media isn't the only medium in which we can get this information or content.
Reading books at a library, listening to a podcast on your morning run, or just tuning in to the radio are all ways you can filter what your mind consumes.
You get to pick the channel you want to listen to, what book you want to read, or what movie you want to watch.
Filtering your content also ensures you consume what interests you and what makes you a better person and this is a great way to improve yourself in a chosen aspect of your life as you can choose what information you absorb if you choose the content you are feeding to yourself.
This is most certainly one way to improve your mental well-being and mindfulness and if you want an insight on how to create strong and long lasting relationships in all aspects of life, from the perspective of Brander Founder, Scott Lancaster, you can capitalise on this limited offer for a free copy of his audiobook, Parallel here.
I know it sounds drastic.
But your mental health and productivity is at stake here, and we don't need a debate to know which is more important.
Deleting social media from your phone for an extended period of time can serve as the healthy break you need.
It directly deals with what is called FOMO (fear of missing out) and helps you cultivate other productive (or not so productive) habits but regardless, they have a much better chance of improving your emotional than doom scrolling.
Of course, you can download the apps back again if you wish, but make it a habit of cleansing your phone of those apps every now and then, for extended periods of time and reap the rewards!
At the end of the day, social media is very useful, and it is an amazing way to connect with people.
But it can be addictive, without you even realising it and the excessive tweeting, snapchatting and posting adds much less value to your day than you think.