Like reading the news about the end of the world affects health?

The clock 00:11. Thumb down, thumb up. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – every day the same. Moreover, regardless of the time of year, pandemics and other pleasures of life – millions of people before you sleep do the same ritual: infinitely scroll the tape in social networks. However, we all know, two hours scrolling the news feed will not stop the Apocalypse, but… can prevent you psychologically prepare for it. But to prepare we really have to anything, because 2020 is so dispersed, from the latest news I want to sit on a Crew Dragon to fly to Mars and build a civilization there.

News will never end

As writes Wired, the habit of endlessly checking your phone before bed has received the name doomsurfing, or “to fall into a deep rabbit hole of information, filled with news about the coronavirus and climate change, during which you bring yourself to physical discomfort, erasing any hope of a good night’s sleep.” For those who prefer that their despair was portable, coined the term doomscrolling. But the main – stream news will never end.

Doom – translated to English means fate, fate, fate. And everyone knows the word Doomsday, in turn, means judgment. Which leads to the conclusion that doomscrolling is to find and read information about the end of the world.

But more recently we watched “the Witcher” and fell asleep to the song of the Buttercup on a hammered coin. Now the only thing worth paying attention is the beginning of the global crisis. See for yourself: deaths from coronavirus, the unemployment rate, the removal of restrictions — the flow of data works non-stop. We expect tons of information, one will follow the other, and almost all of them are bad.

This trend is apparent now – the results of recent studies COVID-19 suggests that the virus may damage the brain stem, which in the future may cause a secondary pandemic of neurological diseases. Also, scientists are asking experts from the world health organization (who) to recognize that SARS-CoV-2 airborne. If you remember about the threat of several pandemics and add to that the news about climate change, the melting of permafrost and Arctic ice, it becomes clear only one thing – good news in the near future are unlikely. About how the world will be in 2050, read our material.

Social networks and the global crisis

For many years people questioned the benefits of such platforms as Twitter and Facebook, andsome studies have shown that social media, if used responsibly, can have positive effects on mental health, but can also lead to anxiety and depression. Think about it – such a serious disease as depression can be the result of an overabundance of negative information. Add to that pandemic, civil unrest and the likelihood that social networks are more and more promoted trending topics in the news — and the problem escalates.

“In such a situation we resort to a more narrow, immediate behavior focused on survival. We are in the mode of fight or flight, “says Allison. Add to this the fact that many of us work remotely and you will see that a huge number of people around the world in one degree or another are in isolation.”

However, the doom and gloom was not only the fault of the media. Mesfin Bekalo, researcher, Center for health and happiness Lee Kum Sheung (Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness) Harvard school of public health named after T. H. Chan (T. H. Chan School of Public Health), noted thatmany of the news is bad, people have a natural tendency to pay more attention to negative news. This, along with the algorithms of social networks, makes doomscrolling and its consequences are almost inevitable.

Since 1970—ies the researchers know about the “syndrome of the middle of the world” — the belief that the world is a more dangerous place than it actually is – which is the result of prolonged exposure to violent content on TV. Thus, doomscrolling can lead to the same long-term consequences for mental health. If you do not intervene and do not correct the situation, for example, by setting the direction of the design of social networking platforms and users thus to improve their mental health and well-being.

What words came during a pandemic?

The origins of the term doomscrolling somewhat vague, but many point to this tweet from October 2018 as a possible ancestor. Recently called it one of the new words that we have created due to the coronavirus.

But the etymology is something else. Especially in the word doom. Originally it was connected with judgment day and the end of the world, but now the term with the same probability is associated with destruction. Thus, scrolling news feeds, leads us to depression.