Purveyors of doom…instil anxiety & helplessness

Hasan Jawaid Khan


In recent years, a relatively new term has come to signify excessive anxiety when surfing through negative news or information feeds. “Doomscrolling” — the act of endlessly scrolling through negative news feeds — has become a pervasive habit for many. In highly sensitive individuals it is known to fuel anxiety, and often despair.

In a 2014 study, E Alison Holman, Dana Rose Garfin and Roxane Cohen Silver from the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine surveyed 4,675 Americans immediately after the Boston Marathon bombings. A look at how much media they consumed revealed that participants who engaged with more than six hours of media coverage per day were nine times more likely to experience symptoms of high acute stress than those who only watched a minimal amount of news. In another study, the same researchers studied the effects of media coverage during the September 11 terrorist attacks. They surveyed about 1,770 adults in the United States one to three weeks after the attacks, asking them questions about how much television news they watched and their mental and physical health. The participants were given similar annual assessments for three years. After adjusting for pre-9/11 mental health, the results showed that TV exposure at the time of the attack was…read more on NOPR