Social media addiction is (sadly) nothing new. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, however, the content we find ourselves binge-consuming has shifted. While we may have previously been preoccupied by silly cat memes, our newsfeeds are now a stream of posts showcasing the "world's collapse into crisis."
We are bombarded by conflicting information that can easily lead us into an anxiety-ridden state of despair over the current state of the world. This compulsive consumption of negative news has even been given its own terminology - the terms doomscrolling and doomsurfing are now part of today's lexicon.
Miriam-Webster says, "Doomscrolling and doomsurfing are new terms referring to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. Many people are finding themselves reading continuously bad news about COVID-19 without the ability to stop or step back."
So how can we stop?
A new study of MindWell users shows that mindfulness training may help.
The recent study, conducted by the University of Saskatchewan, Memorial University and Ryerson University, showed that participants in MindWell's training, the 30-day MindWell Challenge showed decreases in social media addictions.
Participants in the study reported feeling less compelled to monitor and engage with their social media outlets.
Practicing mindfulness trains our attention. We begin to notice when we've "gone down the rabbit hole" of mindless scrolling and are more easily able to return to the present moment.
Additionally, mindfulness training can help hardwire our brains for happiness. As humans, we actually have a natural tendency to focus more on the negative. We replay and recall negative experiences five times more easily than positive ones. By practicing mindfulness, we can begin creating new pathways in our brains, eventually leading to more happiness and joy.
The recent study also showed increases in work-life balance and decreases in burnout.
Download the research summary report to learn more.