How to Stop Endless Doomscrolling on Social Media

The Doctors

It's so easy to get sucked into your social media feeds -- and suddenly it's been hours of reading one tragic news story after another. The Doctors share how to break your doomscrolling habit and get back those hours back!

CNN spoke to technology expert Jeffrey Hall, a professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, who has studied how people can better incorporate technology into their daily life.

He explains the goal of social media companies is to keep users engaged with their apps for as long as possible and human nature makes many of us focus on negative content during stressful times in order to feel more alert and informed. Also, most apps track what you engage with most and then offer up similar content when you return to the app. So, if you are doomscrolling, chances are more negative content will continue to fill your feed.

Is it possible to prevent doomscrolling?

- Jeffrey explains an app's algorithm can be trained. If you want more positive content, he says to engage with it and like it. And to ignore the doom content and even dislike, mute or block the content, user, or source.

- Rethink who is in your social media feeds and consider muting or blocking people in your network who tend to always share the type of content you want to avoid.

- Log out. You can stay informed a certain times, but when you need a break or want to squash your temptation to see what is happening, Jeffrey suggests logging completely out of the app, especially if you tend to read the news on your phone.

And for a better overall relationship with social media, the expert urges users to engage more with people and less with news content, saying, "direct your social media use away from things which tend to be divorced of personal content and toward relationship-building activities...research suggests it's not just what you put out there; it's how other people respond that's valuable to you." 

For less doom and more joy, check out The Doctors' TikTok account!

More: Is Social Media COVID Shaming Ever Acceptable?

More: Why Kids Are Struggling Emotionally Due to Social Media

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