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  • Sawah Danniels

Technology Tuesday

Ahhhhh technology you are simultaneously both loved and hated.Technology keeps us connected to colleagues, friends, family, and events near and far. It also provides a multitude of resources to help keep organised, benefit from wellness activities, provides entertainment and relaxation opportunities. We can access books electronically that are in audio or pdf forms.


Everything is instantaneous and while that has made life in many ways a lot easier it has also come at different costs. Having news, social media and more constantly giving us feedback 24/7 we're simultaneously seeing our friends, family, and celebrities highlight reels, while seeing everything that is "wrong" with the world in real time. This means that we're dealing with easy and constant comparisons to other people's highlights and also consuming a lot of less than optimistic news.


Doomscrolling is a term that was coined by Nate Silver in 2020 and has become a common term used to describe our reliance on social media and news outlets. A 2021 study by Buchanan, Aknin, Lotun and Sandstrom looked at the impact of brief exposure to social media during lockdown, consequences of doom-scrolling and the surprising positive mental impact of kindness scrolling. From a behavioral perspective we seek out information and knowledge when coping with difficult or challenging situations and experiences, attuning to what is risky and what is safer as a means of navigating and managing moving forward. Even short intakes of ambiguous or negative covid information led to a decrease in positive affect, while covid acts of kindness did not find the same results leading to a conclusion that not all media intake has negative effects on mental health. Additionally data was found that individuals restricted their news consumption for well-being reasons after noticing an impact (Mannell&Meese, 2022). Avoidance practices were informed by household context and involved strategy for staying minimally informed pointing to a case for partial news avoidance being beneficial to well-being.


Looking at your technology use (phone, social media, streaming platforms, news outlets etc) are you happy with your use or do you notice feeling drained end of the day by what you've actively or passively consumed? If it's not feeling beneficial look for outlets that share positivity to help counteract the negatives in your day and explore how you feel when selectively or minimally engaging in world events and social media.


References:

Buchanan K, Aknin LB, Lotun S, Sandstrom GM (2021) Brief exposure to social media during the COVID-19 pandemic: Doom-scrolling has negative emotional consequences, but kindness-scrolling does not. PLOS ONE 16(10): e0257728. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0257728


Mannell. K, Meese. J(2022)From Doom-Scrolling to News Avoidance: Limiting News as a Wellbeing Strategy During COVID Lockdown,Journalism Studies,23:3,302-319,DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2021.2021105



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