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Canada Done with doomscrolling? Why people choose to quit social media

00:09  17 october  2021
00:09  17 october  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Doom scrolling is defined by Dictionary.com as ‘the practice of obsessively checking online news for updates, especially on social media feeds, with the expectation that the news will be bad, such that the feeling of dread from this negative expectation fuels a compulsion to continue looking for updates in a When we‘re doom scrolling through the pile of bad news day after day, it’s difficult not to end up having a lopsided view of how the world really is. If I painted my world view to be parallel to the things I saw on social media , I’d think the world was a terribly chaotic place. I’d think people would only exist to argue

Why do people quit social media ? Should you? No Instagram, no WhatsApp. Rupen: What triggered it was a break up. I think when something like that happens, you need to just let someone die a social media death, and just remove them from your life. And then I realised that actually they weren't that useful to me anyway. So I just went the whole hog and didn't bother using them again anymore.

In this photo illustration the logo of US online social media and social networking service Facebook (C), the US instant messaging software Whatsapp's logo (L) and the US social network Instagram's logo (C) are displayed on a smartphone screen on October 05, 2021 in Glastonbury, England. Last night social media services including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were hit by a massive outage impacting potentially tens of millions of users. © Getty Images In this photo illustration the logo of US online social media and social networking service Facebook (C), the US instant messaging software Whatsapp's logo (L) and the US social network Instagram's logo (C) are displayed on a smartphone screen on October 05, 2021 in Glastonbury, England. Last night social media services including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were hit by a massive outage impacting potentially tens of millions of users.

Do you often find yourself doomscrolling on Facebook, spending excessive amount of time on Instagram and watching TikTok videos for endless hours? You’re not alone.

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" Social media allows miserable people to find the company of other miserable people and compare their misery to other people 's misery." Using social media excessively for COVID-19 health information is related to both depression and secondary trauma, according to a study by Pennsylvania State Another approach, such as Llompart's, is to delete social media apps, but not necessarily accounts. Other people decide to quit cold turkey and delete all social networking accounts while still talking to friends and family via text message. Apps such as Telegram and Signal have also seen a spike in users due to

Why do we doomscroll ? We may be telling ourselves that we’re staying informed, but there’s something deeper at work when we find ourselves constantly scrolling through social media and bad news headlines. “If you’re depressed, you often look for information that can confirm how you feel,” says Dr. Albers. Why it’s bad. Doomscrolling can reinforce negative thoughts and a negative mindset, something that can greatly impact your mental health. Consuming negative news has been linked in research with greater fear, stress, anxiety and sadness. “If you’re are prone to anxiety, depression or

As social media apps continue to consume everyday life, more and more users are re-evaluating their time on online platforms. And there is renewed pushback after a damning testimony earlier this month by a former Facebook employee, Francis Haugen, who says the company’s products harm children and fuel polarization.

Read more: ‘Chilling effect’: How whistleblower Frances Haugen unfriended Facebook

In recent years, several high-profile celebrities have either temporarily deactivated their social media accounts or chosen to log off for good for a variety of reasons.

Because these platforms are designed to keep people’s attention, abstaining can be an “uphill battle,” experts say.

“It's what we call the attention economy,” said Shana MacDonald, a communications professor at the University of Waterloo.

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Doomscrolling , meaning obsessively scanning social media and websites for bad news, triggers the release of stress hormones that can affect both your mental and physical health. Since February, Quartz reporter Karen Ho has tweeted out nightly reminders to her followers who may have found themselves unwittingly inside a doomscrolling spiral. “Tonight was really long, confusing, and difficult. Why not take care of yourself and your mental health by turning off your phone, reading a book, and going to sleep early,” one tweet reads.

We've all done it: Gotten into bed, fully intending to go straight to sleep, before deciding to check our phones one last time, and becoming lost in the seemingly endless carousel of depressing information doing the rounds on social media . Dr. Paul L. Hokemeyer, an addictions specialist and author of Fragile Power: Why Having Everything Is Never Enough, believes that doomscrolling includes many of the same hallmarks as other forms of digital addiction. "It seems illogical on that people would consume massive amounts of negative media to help them deal with feeling overloaded by all the negativity

“They have built their platforms to make sure that we spend the most amount of time possible on the platform," she told Global News.

“That is how they make money, because they can show ads and also gather data from how we use their platforms, which makes them more money.”

Despite the addiction, concerns over privacy, mental health and the flood of misinformation are some of the driving factors that motivate users to switch off completely, said Macdonald.

A Statistics Canada report published in March 2021 showed that among all social media users between 15 and 64 years old, 19 per cent reported that they had lost sleep, 22 per cent said they got less physical activity and 18 per cent had trouble concentrating on tasks or activities as a result of their social media use.

Around one in eight users also reported feeling anxious or depressed, frustrated or angry, or envious of the lives of others, according to the StatsCan study that analyzed a 2018 survey.

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"During times of stress people turn to social media for information, and doomscrolling has become a 'coping mechanism' with the uncertainty in today's world," psychoanalyst Babita Spinelli, L.P., tells mbg. Staying up to date with the latest COVID-19 news is important, and so is staying connected with friends and family during quarantine. For both reasons, the pandemic seemed to heighten doomscrolling , Spinelli explains. "The uncertainty in the world and minute-by-minute news breaks has created a fear of missing out," she says. People are afraid to "let go," in case they miss something.

If used correctly, social media can be a place of encouragement and positivity. No, we can't fully escape the world, but the photos selected and the tone of a caption can either inspire people to do better or convince them that we're stuck in a downward spiral. The adage of creating "thumbstopping" content still holds true to give users a reason to stop, read and interact with your social media post. Marketers can offer perspective, stability and solutions to stand out from the typical " doomscrolling " content. Marketers can provide utility through inspiration and aspiration to further convey positivity

Read more: 5 Canadians on what social media is doing to their mental health

A majority of Canadians (88 per cent) believe social media companies should do more to prevent or remove messages of hate and racism from their platforms, according to a 2020 Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News.

A more recent online poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies this month found that 40 per cent of Canadians had a negative opinion of Facebook.

The vast majority also agreed that Facebook amplifies hate speech, helps spread fake news, damages individuals’ mental health and poses a risk to children and teenagers.

For people conscious of the negative impact, the decision to say no entirely is like an “abstinence-based internet sobriety program,” said Aimee Morrison, a professor at the University of Waterloo who specializes in social media.

“Some people can have one drink and some people can check Facebook twice a day, but other people find that their own behaviors are problematic and that the best way to address them is to leave the site entirely,” she said.

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Video: Mental Health Matters: Dealing with ‘doomscrolling’ on social media

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have not been active on social media since posting their last message on their official Instagram account in March 2020.

In a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, the Duchess of Sussex went into great detail about her mental health and how it was impacted during her time with the royal family and a target of negative press.

Read more: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry to develop animated series for Netflix

Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone stopped using her Twitter account after it was hacked in 2012. In a 2018 interview with Elle magazine, she said “it wouldn’t be a positive thing for me.”

“If people can handle that sort of output and input in the social media sphere, power to them.”

In March 2021, French football legend Thierry Henry, who has millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter, said he was quitting social media to protest online racial abuse and bullying that he said goes unregulated.

“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore,” the former Arsenal striker said. “There has to be some accountability."

Other celebrities who have boycotted social media include British actress Keira Knightley, New Zealand singer Lorde and Canadian actors Ryan Gosling and Keanu Reeves.

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Despite being an avid social media user herself, Morrison says if people feel the services don’t have value for them, then parting ways might be the right path.

“If people want to stay on, more power to you, and if people want to leave it, I think that's an entirely supportable decision,” she said.

Read more: Four ways parents can help teens safely navigate Instagram

However, Professor MacDonald believes that instead of getting rid of the apps altogether, people can put in place “healthy boundaries” on their social media use.

“Especially in children … as they are developing their identities, it's important for them to have a wide variety of interactions and social contexts ... so social media should be quite limited.”

Setting aside some phone-free hours can be a helpful strategy to limit your screen time, said Morrison.

“You can put a real live alarm clock in your bedroom and plug your phone in the kitchen before you go to bed so you're not tempted to do doomscrolling at night,” she said.

People can also set reminders on their phone for the amount of time they want to spend on a particular app, shutting it when the timer goes off.

“There's a number of ways, from total abstinence, like put your phone in a lockbox … or just try to find some ways that make it less easy for you to pick up your phone and do a behavior that you're trying to stop.”

-- With files from the Canadian Press, Associated Press

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