Doomscrolling stuck with negative news?

Images of destruction or horror impress us, whether they are the terrifying depictions of demons we encounter in medieval art or horror films of the 20th and 21st centuries.

No wonder of course. You see, our brain is "wired" to learn from experience. This is partly why science fiction, which often features monsters and aliens, as well as dystopian literature and movies, are so successful in the entertainment market.


However, overexposure to such images can numb our sense of "horror" and cause us to feel overwhelmed, even affecting our ability to do something to protect ourselves, says Alžbeta Kovaľová from the team of the global cybersecurity company ESET.

In the recent past, people were informed by radio and television. Today, most of us can access the news anytime, anywhere from our mobile devices, tablets and computers. This of course includes the negative news. And because we are "Programmed" not to look elsewhere, We "stick" easily to the negative news and continue to scroll again and again in the next post. We do this to such an extent that there is now a condition for this habit: doomscrolling (dumskrolin).

Doomscrolling it means constantly looking for and "feeding" on negative news. Of course, this activity intensifies as negative and destructive events occur in the world. Two years ago, we saw an increase in doomscrolling with the rise of COVID-19 cases worldwide. Today, although COVID-19 cases are declining and several countries are lifting restrictions, we face another threat, probably even greater than COVID-19.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, there has been an increase in search engines such as Ukraine, World War III, Russia, war and invasion. Not only do people use these words more, but the media, both online and print, also fuel this trend.

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So why do we do doomscrolling;

It's probably a way to gain control over a situation. When people feel that we can not change a situation, we can become anxious and try to take control of what we can. And while it is rare to be able to control world events, we can certainly control the content we consume. And this is exactly where we fail when we do doomscrolling.

Doomscrolling may seem harmless or even normal, but it can also happen extremely detrimental to our emotional stability and mental development. Staying permanently "stuck" on a screen is never good, especially when the content we consume is mostly negative. Doomscrolling can also distract you from other aspects of your life, both at home and at work. Finally, you may not be aware of the negative impact that doomscrolling has on you.

How to impose yourself so that you do not get stuck in front of the screen that constantly shows scary images

Alžbeta Kovaľová from the team of the global cyber security company ESET summarizes in these 5 points what you can do to not be constantly "stuck" in the negative news:  

  1. One thing you can do right now is to stop following sources that post negative content, especially on social media.
  2. Another is to set aside time for yourself to be informed about negative issues. Try to stay informed but do not miss time.
  3. Try to have a good time offline. Communicate or meet for example with friends and colleagues you know who have an optimistic outlook. Seek positivity, read or watch something positive or do something that pleases you.
  4. Every time you see yourself "rolling" in doomscrolling, push him to do something else. For example, simply putting your phone down may sometimes be enough.
  5. Use an application that helps you measure how much time you spend on specific applications. 
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What does it have to do with doomscrolling with your digital security
Cybercriminals are experienced in evaluating people's online behavior. They know that in difficult times - for ourselves or for others - we tend to doomslide and surround ourselves with negative content.

 Thus, they can take advantage of those who doomcrolling by making them click on negative news while the link is malicious and thus lead to cyber scams, malware downloads, or fake logins that try to steal your account information. .

It can also be the first step in falling victim to an attack ransomware (where they ask for ransom to give you access to your files again), a journey that often begins with clicking on a malicious link.

This, after all, was shown by multiple ESET surveys around them COVID-19 scams. The social and psychological factors associated with fear and greed have been exploited by criminals for phishing scams (Phishing), ransomware, targeting national health authorities and fake vaccines and immunization certificates, as well as for fake or degraded tests, fake personal protective equipment and theft of personal and financial data. Now, unfortunately, within a few hours of the start of hostilities in Ukraine, fraudulent scams have begun.

To protect yourself, of course, from such dangers, all you have to do is use some quality security software.

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