How to Combat Doom Scrolling

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries5 Minutes

A growing concern in America and around the world is depression caused by too much exposure to negative social media. This is especially true considering the challenges 2020 has brought to every segment of society and the turbulent election season. This has affected mental health and contributed to what is known as “crisis fatigue.” Doom scrolling is a term to describe the practice of consuming substantial amounts of doom-and-gloom news.

While it is wise to stay updated on current news, weather conditions, and other resources that may be available online, it is also prudent to limit exposure to overly negative news and opinions. Proverbs 22:3 says “Wise people see trouble coming and get out of its way. But foolish people go straight to the trouble and suffer because of it.”

Dr. Carla Marie Manly writes on the mental health effects of “doom scrolling” on the American Psychological Association Facebook page: “Many people think that they’ll feel safer by staying abreast of the latest news. Yet, they don’t realize that consumption of the negative news only leads to greater fear, anxiety, and stress.”

So how are we to unburden ourselves from the avalanche of endless information?

Some choose to take one day technology free per week, where they unplug, get into nature, meditate on God’s Word and worship singing and dancing. Others take a longer break from news and social media. Some Biblical examples of getting away from the grind are:

  • Isaac took time to meditate after his mother Sarah died. Genesis 24:63a “He (Isaac) went out to the field one evening to meditate,”
  • Jesus took time away by himself to be with his Father.
  • Solomon recognized the spiritual and health benefits encouraging oneself in the Lord can have.

Proverbs 4:20-22

My son pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.

  • Paul knew praise and gratitude lightens the spirit and our mood.

Ephesians 5:19-20

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Taking the time to enjoy meaningful conversations with family, playing a board game or outdoor activity together. These can all be refreshing to our spirit. We belong to one another as parts of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12

This isn’t a false optimism born of an “Everything is Great!” mentality when you are on the equivalent of the Titanic. It is a knowing in ourselves that our heavenly Father has not surrendered His sovereignty to anyone. He sees you, and wants you to “Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

Friends, there is always going to be something we can be genuinely outraged at, but the Bible says at Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Walking in a balanced way regarding media consumption doesn’t have to mean becoming a hermit or leaving all technology behind. In fact, we have been so elated that through media before this year ends, over 3 million people will have self-identified as new believers through the outreaches of Inspiration Ministries!

So, enjoy whatever unplugging you and your heavenly Father decide is best for a time. We will be here reaching the lost and equipping believers around the world when you return.

The following verses offer perspective.

1 Corinthians 10:23

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

Psalm 101:3

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

2 Timothy 2:23

But reject foolish and ignorant speculation, for you know that it breeds quarreling.