Google Trends recently revealed that the term “doomscrolling” was searched more than ever before in 2021. However, recent events on the global stage in Ukraine have seen the previous record peak shattered.
What is doomscrolling?
If you’ve never heard of doomscrolling, it relates to devoting excessive amounts of time to reading negative news.
Back in 2021, Finland topped the global charts in searching the phrase:
The United Kingdom was in 9th place in the chart of nations, registering approximately 40% of the interest that Finland had in the topic.
The most recent Google Trends data reflects a sharp rise in the subject, now peaking well above the highest level recorded in 2021
Interestingly, doomscrolling has been directly linked to a number of events that saw it increase. These include the COVID-19 pandemic, the George Floyd protests in the USA, the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol and the 2020 US Presidential Election.
Where does the word doomscrolling come from?
There are no clear answers to the origin of the word, but Twitter has been linked to it since approximately October 2018. Instagram has also been associated with the term although there have been far older references dating back to the 1970’s and the ‘mean world syndrome’ (whilst not directly using the word doomscrolling for obvious reasons with no mobile phones!), a time when many people began to think the world was a more dangerous place to live than it had been.
Is doomscrolling bad for you?
Experts have cited doomscrolling as being connected to poor mental health and mood swings. One of the most observed behaviours from people engaged in doomscrolling is an apparent need to shut themselves off from others, an act that has been interpreted as a form of self-protection or hiding from the trauma they’ve subconsciously endured through reading large amounts of negative news.
If you want to find more data on doomscrolling, we recommend visiting the Google Trends portal.