Have you been prone to “doomscrolling” recently?
Doomscrolling is a new word that’s been coined to describe the habit of obsessively consuming a large quantity of negative online news.
The committee of the Australian Macquarie Dictionary even named “doomscrolling” their Word of the Year for 2020.
Humans have a natural tendency to pay more attention to bad news, but the doomscrolling trend has accelerated during the pandemic.
We compulsively check our news apps and social media feeds, endlessly scanning the latest ominous headlines. We feed ourselves a steady diet shocking or disheartening news about rising COVID-19 case numbers, hospital intensive care units filling up, businesses shutting down, political instability or even weather woes.
We can’t seem to help ourselves, even when we sense that doomscrolling is probably detrimental to our mental health. All this bad news saturating our minds can leave us depressed, anxious, angry or hopeless.
We need an antidote to the feeling of despair that doomscrolling can produce.
I’d like to propose that we adopt a new habit:
I’m not sure if “hopescrolling” is officially a word yet, but it should be.
We should saturate our minds with the truth of God’s love for us, His protection of us, and His sovereignty over world events. All of these truths should give us hope that God has us in the palm of His hands, and that we needn’t fear what’s happening around us.
If you’d like to engage in a little “hopescrolling,” check out these Bible verses:
”They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.” (Psalm 112:7 NLT)
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT)
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NLT)
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5 NLT)
“For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.’” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NLT)
Don’t you feel better after reading those hope-filled verses? I certainly do.
Of course, it’s good to be aware of what’s going on in the news, and to keep current with world events. But let’s balance all that negative input with the words of life found in the Bible.
Let’s do some hopescrolling!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.