Doomscrolling: what it is and how it’s affecting your life

Doomscrolling is when your social media posts turn to dark and depressing ones, rather than inspirational or happy posts. Rather than showing you the happier side, social media algorithms can also turn to darker or depressing topics.

Users can get stuck in a loop of things they don’t want to think about, or people that they don’t want to see.

Some users seek out these posts without knowing it. Other times, it’s because of social media algorithms.

Meta (and other companies) have faced criticism for their administration process. There are claims that companies deliberately make users ‘doomscroll’ through algorithms and tags.

Here’s more about this, and how it affects you.

Doomscrolling: what is it?

Doomscrolling can harm your mental health.

It can be avoided by changing social media settings or deliberately looking for different content, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Scrolling through your timeline exposes you to many things.

Sometimes, these are things you don’t want to see.

You can select the option, “See more/less” or “hide” to avoid certain ads or topics.

Doomscrolling: social media and mental health

The phenomenon can affect your mental health, says

Some social media posts just give you a bad day. Sometimes it makes a bad day worse.

Doomsurfing can worsen depression, or cause anxiety.

You can take a break from social media (or certain posts) that you don’t want to see. Adjust your keywords and settings.

How to avoid it

There are ways to avoid doomsurfing.

According to, you can adjust your social media algorithms.

Clicking on ‘suggest less’ or ‘show less’ can adjust what you’re shown. You can change settings to avoid some keywords.

You can take a social media break, but you don’t have to with the right settings changes.

Is it you… or your settings?

It’s not always necessary to take a social media break.

According to WebMD, algorithms can sometimes be the fault.

Change your settings, selecting what you want to see more or less of. Report inappropriate posts, and avoid just scrolling past.

You can exclude topics you don’t want to see.

Social media: help for depression and anxiety

Social media can be useful or harmful.

Depression and anxiety can be treated.

If you aren’t coping, contact the SA Depression and Anxiety Group.

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