'Doomscrolling', also known as doomsurfing, is a relatively new term that describes the act of mindlessly trawling through negative news on news apps and social media for hours on end. Essentially, it's reading one negative story after another.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, doomscrolling is the “tendency to continue to surf or scroll to bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening or depressing.” The term first appeared on Twitter in 2018, but the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has brought more awareness to the habit.
There is actually a valid reason why we doomscroll. The human brain is hardwired to look out for threats to our safety and well-being. The more we know about a negative situation, the better prepared we will be for what is to come. Many people are drawn to doomscrolling because it gives a sense of control over the bad news, but often it just leaves you feeling more miserable.