Reported By:| Edited By: Parul Sharma |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Mar 11, 2022, 09:24 PM IST
As the world has become increasingly digitalised, many people spend hours on social media platforms to gather information of various kinds. While many like to watch amusing memes, some consider social media sites to remain up to date with current affairs, like the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Horrifying pictures and videos from the ongoing destruction in Ukraine have been circulating across the internet since day 1 of Russian attacks.
As per psychologists, watching such a violent war on social media lays a strong impact on our mental health. Since many of us are in the habit of doomscrolling, it becomes even more harmful.
Read ahead to know more about ‘doomscrolling’ –
‘Droom scrolling’ is a term commonly referred to as the act of constantly checking for updates and mindlessly scrolling on social media whenever there is a negative news.
As stated by a consultant psycologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic – Dr Elena Touroni, ‘doomscrolling’ is the “fascination of the human experience, including the more evil sides of human nature”.
According to her, this act can make you feel in control in moments that are actually out of control.
“From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s a way of gathering as much information as possible to firstly check that we ourselves are safe but also allowing us to strategise in advance for anything that may happen,” she said.
How is ‘doomscrolling’ impacting your mental health?
Doomscrolling is often used as a coping mechanism, but Dr Touroni highlights that when you “engage with very upsetting news in an ongoing way” – such as the conflict in Ukraine – it can also “have a negative impact on our wellbeing”.
This is primarily because the brain benefits from neuroplasticity. In simpler words, it implies that those who meditate can often focus an overwhelmed mind as compared to those who can get easily distracted with minor things.
As per Chartered psychologist Dr Audrey Tang, consistent exposure to any news through social media, including the Ukraine conflict, can impact the chemical pathways of your brain.
Speaking about how the horrifying war images are impacting people, Dr Touroni said, “When we are able to put faces to individual stories like this it becomes easier to put ourselves in their shoes. It brings the realities of the horrors these people are suffering to life in a way that words sometimes can’t.”
To those who are in a habit of ‘doomscrolling’ amid the ongoing war, she says it is actually individual responsibility.
“It’s about finding a balance between staying informed and doing everything we can to help whilst also tuning in to how we’re feeling. Setting defined limits around how much news we’re consuming can help with this’’, she added.
Do you think ‘droom scrolling’ amid Russian attacks is impacting your mental health?