Twitter use has jumped 24 percent since the start of the pandemic about a year ago, and Facebook is up 27 percent. Media experts suggest that “doom-scrolling” is the reason why.
Doom-scrolling is the act of endlessly scrolling down news apps, Twitter, and social media, reading all the bad news. The problem with this habit is that it can lead to higher stress.
We think that keeping up with the latest news will lessen our anxiety, but it increases it. Instead of making us feel safer, it raises our level of fear, anxiety and stress.
So, does this sound familiar? Are you experiencing this in your own life? Do you get into bed, turn off the lights, and glance at your phone just one more time? Wanting to stay informed, you end up being sucked into doom and gloom, maybe even spiraling into despair.
It happens, and not just these days. Think of Jesus’ followers after he died. The twelve disciples locked themselves behind the doors of a hidden upper room. The women walked to the tomb prepared to embalm a corpse with spices and their own tears.
The good news of the resurrection changed all that.
The angel announced to the women, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen” (Mark 16:6)! No doom at this tomb!
“Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among [his disciples] and said, ‘Peace be with you’” (John 20:26). No doom in this room.
And what about your gloom? Where have you lost hope? What bad news do you fear? How have you become paralyzed by circumstances that you think are in control?
Don’t be alarmed. Peace be with you. Jesus is risen from the dead and that news rules over all other news. Your Friend and Savior lives exalted and eternal.
So why not scroll through the Bible a bit more and the news a bit less?
PRAYER: That’s awesome news, God! Jesus lives! Overwhelm me with your powerful promises, and help me balance my news intake, notifications and attention so that your news is the loudest. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Have you heard of “The Chosen” series? It’s a new series about Jesus and his disciples. I just love it, and think it’s one way to focus less on bad news and more on God’s good news. Check out the trailer https://youtu.be/X-AJdKty74M .