Doomscrolling Social Media’s Vicious Cycle
There is nothing like a pandemic to fill your news feeds with depressing, upsetting, and worrying information. In addition, this has caused many of us to engage in ritualistic, uncontrollable behaviour that is detrimental to our health. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of us have felt the urge to obsessively scroll through our social media and news feeds and pay attention to upsetting or generally unfavourable content, often known as “doomscrolling” or “doomsurfing,” which is a sort of compulsive behaviour.
Continually browsing through upsetting content and experiencing helplessness might have an impact on your mental health by repeating negative thoughts. Find out why you and your followers could be drawn to doomscrolling here.
What Causes Doomscrolling?
It’s important to read the news to keep up with current affairs, but doomscrolling differs from merely wanting to stay informed. Doomscrolling can be caused by several factors, including:
- Negativity bias: The tendency to pay close attention to, gain knowledge from, or use negative information, could be positively related to doomscrolling.
- Uncertainty: According to Jacob Fisher, PhD, assistant professor of advertising at UIUC and faculty researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, “doomscrolling is pervasive in situations where an individual needs to know about a topic that is unclear or with multiple conflicting perspectives.”
- Anxiety: Some people use doomscrolling to cope with their anxiety. However, the behaviour can exacerbate anxiety.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO): According to Bethany Teachman, PhD, professor of psychology and director of clinical training at the University of Virginia, doomscrolling may be associated with FOMO and the belief that an individual must be vigilant in order not to miss anything important.
- Lack of self-control: A lack of restraint in social media use may play a significant role in the desire to doomscroll.
What Makes Doomscrolling so Bad?
It has been demonstrated that doomscrolling makes people feel uncertain, uneasy, afraid, and distressed. It can also harm your general mood and sense of well-being, particularly when it becomes a habit. Negative thoughts can also make it difficult to sleep, interfere with your ability to function at work or prevent you from having fun with friends and family. Chronic stress raises the chance of cardiac issues like stroke, heart attack, or hypertension, so it’s a big problem if you’re so stressed out that you can’t unwind.
How Can Your Business Help?
Although doomscrolling is frequently seen as a user’s responsibility, it can also be a product of the business framework that underpins social media. Particularly, the algorithms that power social media platforms are typically created to grab users’ attention and boost engagement. The stuff you interact with is then enhanced to the greatest extent feasible to keep your interest.
As mentioned above doomscrolling can be caused by a variety of factors, including uncertainty, and a lack of self-control. Social media algorithms are designed to keep you browsing, making it far more difficult to stop. Even though, as businesses, we want to ensure that our target audience is interested in our content, it is crucial to analyse the data we are distributing and consider how this may affect our audience.
The habit of doomscrolling and the detrimental impacts on our mental well-being cannot necessarily be erased or countered by a day of scrolling through and posting uplifting news. However, realising that reading happy news makes us happy can help us become more conscious of how our internet behaviour influences our followers’ emotional states.
How Be My Social Can Help Your Business
Feeling the effects of doomscrolling on your business’s social media algorithm? Be My Social is a digital marketing agency that provides a variety of services, including social media management. Our talented team has experience in a variety of fields, including social media advertising and web design. Your social media is in good hands with us, so you can focus on other aspects of your business and not have to worry about your social media grabbing your audience’s attention for the wrong reasons.
Fill out our contact form for more information, and someone will contact you.