Digital Conflict, Social Media Mayhem:
Doomsurfing and Doomscrolling
8/6/2020 by Chris Cobb
During sickness, crisis, boredom, even when we are fine: There lies one addiction that affects the majority of the population, and not many even see it. It’s around every corner, on your counter, nightstand, in your car, even in your bed. This addiction like many others, does not discriminate. It’s a worldwide epidemic. And the scariest part; it’s perfectly legal (for the most part). If you’re reading this, you’re already in its grip. Technology. Internet. Phones, Smart TVs, Computers, DOOMSURFING. So, what is Doomsurfing and how do you know you are a victim? Better yet, how do we control it? Below are some signs I’ve recognized in my own surfing and scrolling behaviors and how I’m able to control them, at least for some time, so I can get my real work done.
Red Flag #1: You’re losing sleep over it.
It started with social media. All the way back to Myspace (when Myspace was still cool), now Facebook. Doomscrolling. Have you ever (yes) been scrolling Facebook for so long, seeing the same things in your newsfeed over and over, and lost track of time completely? I certainly can say I have. I have made the excuse that I can’t sleep, so I need to occupy my mind. But let’s do some real talk here. I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop scrolling Facebook. Seeing what my friends are doing when I know they’re done posting for the day, looking to see who liked, loved, or laughed at my post, seeing who’s become single overnight so I can do nothing more than heart their profile picture knowing there will not be any kind of follow-up message. Yeah, I’m weird, but so are you. So how do we fix it? How do we become more well-rested without Nyquil, without melatonin, drugs, alcohol; without attempting to cure one addiction with another? Well, keep reading and I’ll tell you how I’ve worked on this very issue, after discussing some more warning signs.
Red Flag #2: You aren’t performing well at work because of it.
One cause for poor performance at work is lack of sleep. We talked about that. But what if you’re sleeping just fine, and doing your browsing at work, on the clock, way too often? Again, we can lose track of time, train of thought, and get behind at work. I personally remember managers shouting at me to get off my phone before they take it from me on plenty of occasions. Some places, such as those who follow certain HIPAA guidelines don’t allow phones at all, yet we still sneak them just to find out if Epstein killed himself or not (too soon? #SorryNotSorry), risking our jobs. We’ll talk solutions here shortly, but let’s look at just one more sign that you or a loved one is addicted to Doom. I mean browsing. Onward!
Red Flag #3: It’s negatively impacting a relationship.
“It’s not you, it’s Facebook.” Did I say that right? Anyway… I’ve done it, she’s done it, you’ve probably done it too. Say you’re in a relationship and when you guys first join forces, you talk about how much you LOOOVEE cuddling while watching a movie. But you fail to mention you do it with your phone more often than a person. I’ve put significant others in fairly bad moods for being on my phone too much, whether during a movie or while they’re talking to me about their hopes and dreams of a brighter future. I’ve also been a hypocrite and lashed out over the other person being on their device when we are supposed to be “spending quality time together”. This is a tough one, especially if you work on it, because you can’t really force the other person to do the same, if they have the same issue.
So how do we work on this problem we have that’s negatively affecting our lives? There are a ton of things that can help, here are just a couple that seemed to help me quite a bit.
Sleep – Mute your phone, put it on a dresser or desk across the room, instead of in bed or on the nightstand next to you. This lack of motivation to get up and move will decrease the temptation to drool on your phone, and will help more than you could imagine. Meditation, melatonin, try a few different natural remedies for a better night’s sleep. Most importantly, stay away from tech when you are supposed to be getting some rest. CLEAR YOUR MIND.
Work – How did you sleep? Well, I hope. Did setting the phone across the room force you to get up and move in order to dismiss your alarm? Very nice. Now get some coffee and breakfast. Stay off your phone while doing so. You need to focus in order to get your brain working, and avoid thinking about Epstein and Covid-19 all day at work, since you won’t be on your phone all day at work, RIGHT!? Practice, practice, practice. When you sit at the table for dinner, say you have 4 kids and a spouse eating with you. Kids tend to talk all at the same time, and interrupt you and your spouse while you’re trying to talk about the lovely amount of bills coming in this month. You get worked up, distracted, frustrated because you can’t even hear yourself think. Well the same thing goes with distracting YOURSELF at WORK. Stay off your phone and focus on the task at hand, and I guarantee you and your boss will see a huge difference in your work performance. You might even get that promotion to Plane Captain you’ve been waiting for! (please don’t attempt to fly a plane, while on your phone.) Just a bit left to read.
Relationships – I’m no couples’ counselor, but I’ve experience relationships gone bad plenty of times. And one reason I’ve been in arguments is, believe it or not, screen time. So even if your significant other has the same Doomsurfing addiction as you, maybe you could lead by example? Get off your phone and listen. Spend time, don’t waste it. You can get on your phone in so many other places and situations. What’s more important: Feeding into Fake News or Creating Real Moments in Time? Take a break. Hang with your kiddos. Go take some pictures of squirrels in abandoned water parks (shhh). Do it together.
In closing: I’m still totally addicted to technology and the 99% of BS it shows me. I’m also an I.T. guy who works from home, from: you guessed it, my computer. I can’t be saved, but maybe you CAN. Try taking the doom out of doomsurfing. Just keep yourself in check and ask yourself: “don’t I have something more important to take care of first?” Godspeed my friends.
If this sounds like you or a loved one, you are not alone! We can help. Call the elite team at The Addictions Coach today.
1.800.706.0318 ext 2