Researchers claim that constantly reading bad and negative news affects mental and physical health, a study has found
Researchers claim that as a result of the pandemic, people have more free time on their hands, which has led to an increase in the frequency with which they “scroll.” And there is a lot of depressing news to report, such as a pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the changing environment… According to a new study, however, consistent “scrolling” can have negative effects not just on one’s physical health but also on one’s emotional well-being, as reported by “The Guardian.”
A trend that scientists believe has grown throughout the pandemic is called “constant scrolling,” which refers to the inclination to keep reading sad and gloomy news online despite the fact that the news is sad and depressing.
16.5 percent of 1,100 respondents showed signs of a problematic amount of news reading, which led to high levels of stress and anxiety, as well as deterioration in their health, according to a study that was published in the scientific journal “Health Communication.” This study found that the participants’ health suffered as a direct result of their news reading habits.
Professor Brian McLaughlin, who led this research and is also a researcher at Texas Tech University, pointed out that “scrolling” all day can put some people in a “continuous state of alarm,” giving them the impression that the world is a “dark and dangerous place.”
“A vicious loop is created for these individuals,” McLaughlin highlighted, “in which rather than shutting down, they dive deeper and deeper, becoming more and more obsessive about new news that they hope will ameliorate their emotional state.”
The results of the survey showed that approximately 27.3 percent of respondents had an average problem with reading the news, 27.5 percent were minimally affected, and 28.7 percent did not demonstrate any negative consequences from reading the news.
Those respondents who showed signs of problematic consumption of media products exhibited similar behaviors. These behaviors include becoming absorbed by the content of the media, becoming preoccupied with thoughts about the news, attempting to reduce stress by reading more news, being unable to stop “scrolling,” and the content of the news also affecting their day-to-day lives.
74% of the people who demonstrated substantial concerns with their degree of news reading reported mental health issues, and 61% of those people also reported worsening physical manifestations as a result of their news consumption.