We have a new term for overloading yourself with negative information: Doomscrolling.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to spending too much time on your newsfeed, looking for the next thing to worry about. And right now, people are capturing a whole lot to worry about.

It occurred to me, though, that this is just the most recent form of something which has existed for my entire lifetime:

  • The need to keep current with all the newspapers
  • Devouring news magazines
  • The 24 hour TV newscycle
  • General news websites

It feels unavoidable.

The fact is that this powerfully affects your mood, happiness, and world outlook. And since news is primarily about negative information – the more troubling the better – it can quickly take you into depression and anxiety.

I know a few people who have completely disconnected from this, and they’re clearly happier as a result. But for most of us, we have this nagging to “stay current and informed”, so going cold turkey seems impossible.

You know what the solution is, of course:

  • Trim your information sources to emphasize the positive more than the negative.
  • Focus more on sources which are relevant and useful
  • De-emphasize places which make you more anxious and emotionally negative

But there’s one more crucial point: Don’t do this to other people. Don’t forward that kind of information when you see it. Try to help others be more positive and engaged.

And a daily practice to get yourself more centered and balanced wouldn’t be a bad idea either.