Democracy is in danger. Climate change will kill us all. Income inequality is out of line. Life expectancy is declining.

Wherever you look on the internet, the torrent of bad news is inescapable.

This phenomenon has a term — doomscrolling. When you open up your favourite social media or news app/website and scroll through the feed, chances are you see a significant proportion of content that is doom and gloom. There’s no hope for the world. Everything is f*cked.

That said, Joan Cornella is a legend

Identifying problems is an important function of every profession, and the media does this at scale. It is important to be aware of issues and resolve them before they blow out of proportion.

However, most of the media is now dependent on advertising revenue, not reader subscriptions. The incentive is no longer (only) to report facts or keep readers informed, but to capture attention to generate traffic and engagement. Nothing does this quite like outrage and shock, be it in a news headline or an opinion piece.

Highlighting (and worryingly, exaggerating) problem after problem is a way to generate said traffic and engagement. Let’s not even get started on outright fake news and conspiracy theories.

And this constant barrage of negativity isn’t healthy for readers.

So what do we do?

Self-curation

A medium-effort solution to this problem is to curate your online experience to deliver what is useful, without the clickbait or alarmist dressing that messes with your brain.

It is definitely important that media publishes stuff about climate change, authoritarianism, hunger, poverty, conservation and hundreds of important issues. However, it is a gargantuan task for any individual reader to be knowledgeable about everything, and even harder to do something about all this stuff.

You will likely just end up with outrage fatigue, which doesn’t help the problems being talked about, but negatively affects your mindset. Browsing news without filters will amplify the doomscroll and outrage fatigue without much gain.

Build a strict funnel to keep your brain safe from the toxicity

Some good filters would be:

Also, as far as possible, subscribe/donate to quality journalism. Ad-free media organizations serve the interests of readers, not advertisers.

Sources

While curation can solve a large part of the problem, perhaps you’re looking for specific aggregators/publishers who focus on positive news. Below are a few you should definitely give a try.

Hope this was useful. If you know of any other websites/subreddits/twitter accounts or if you have other tips to share, please do mention in the comments!

Football. Anime. Manga. Tennis. Words.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store