No matter how old you are, we are all doing it. We get on our phones to check Facebook or our news sites and we just keep scrolling though each post, reading each article until we realized a couple of hours has passed. There is a term for this and it’s called “doomscrolling” and our new behavior is causing us to look at our screens more than usual. In fact, the majority of 6-12 year olds say they use their screen devices either at least 50% more, twice as much, or for what feels like “most of the day” since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Increased screen time can lead to lack of good quality sleep which we all need in order to feel rejuvenated and recharged to take on the day. However, due to the pandemic, most of us are looking at our screens more than usual is because we are more likely to read the news through are phones or social media feeds. Doomscrolling can also cause anxiety, depression, loss in productivity and decrease connection with our relationships.
So how do we change this into a positive habit? According to a New York Times article, health and wellness professionals recommends that we create a plan to control the amount of time we spend on our devices by following these two important steps:
- Step 1: Acknowledge your doomscrolling and what it is doing for you health.
- Step 2: Create a realistic plan and schedule, setting aside certain times of the day to read the news or check social media. Set a 10-minute timer to remind you to stop scrolling.
Parents and caregivers are role models for their children. If they practice these steps in front of their kids, they are essentially teaching them a healthy skill that they will use for themselves to help limit their own screen time and better understand how “doomscrolling” affects their mental health and well being.
For more ideas on how to stop “doomscrolling,” visit https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/15/technology/personaltech/youre-doomscrolling-again-heres-how-to-snap-out-of-it.html?smid=tw-share.