Doom and gloom in the headlines

While there are many stressors Hamline students are facing this fall semester, doomscrolling is an often overlooked and unsaid habit. The doom of the world weighs heavily on students’ minds.

Kathryn Robinson, Reporter

More than 200,000 Americans dead from COVID-19. The President, Donald J. Trump, tests positive for the coronavirus. California has been on fire since mid-August. These are just some of the countless headlines published within the last few weeks. 

It’s easy to get thrown into a cycle of anxiety-producing, negative headlines. With a pandemic affecting nearly everyone for the past year, this issue has only intensified. It is called doomscrolling, a term recently coined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Even before COVID, the news was never really an uplifting place to go. Now, dreadful headlines and doomsday scenarios are on the news and social media platforms like never before, and many of these scenarios do not feel as far off as they used to. Most can agree that 2020 has been, and remains a difficult year, but how doomscrolling affects students here at Hamline differs.

Kelly on a laptop reading the news
Dasiyah Franklin Carter

First-year Kate Kelley finds herself doomscrolling through election news.

 Some students feel anxious while some feel hopeful that our generation can make real change. 

“I don’t know if you can go on social media these days and not doomscroll,” first-year student Kate Kelley said. Yet, this constant dread does not make her anxious. 

“For me, it’s a positive experience,” Kelley said in regards to doomscrolling. Reading about the doom and gloom in the world is hopeful for her. “It makes me grateful of the good stuff I have.” 

For others, the same cannot be said. Senior and New Student Mentor Olivia Felland feels desensitized to the news. 

“It’s hard to find a happy medium,” Felland said in regards to doomscrolling. “The news is never really positive and this year bad news has multiplied.” 

With the upcoming election on top of the mounting anxiety from other recent news, many students’ anxiety has risen. “With the election coming up in less than a month, doomscrolling is easier to do,” Felland adds. Although there are many headlines in the news that cause anxiety, she is able to step away. “I live a privileged life and can step away from the news.”

 Although some can take breaks to help their mental health, many students feel directly affected by the news as of late, such as the racial injustice that has been exploding since early summer. It is especially important to check in on our BIPOC peers during this time. 

First-year student Erika Albrecht has had a similar experience as Felland. “I go down a rabbit hole,” Albrecht said referring to doomscrolling. “I hear a lot of the negative things that are going on in the world.” 

For those with mental health issues like Albrecht, doomscrolling can be particularly harmful. These negative headlines do not just cause anxiety, but oftentimes guilt as well. 

“It certainly does not help my mental health,” Albrecht said. “I read about these problems that I cannot control, and it feels like no one is doing anything about them. It makes me sad that I can’t do anything about it.” 

Doomscrolling and the negativity found in headlines can weigh heavily on anyone’s mind. If you or anyone you know is struggling with their mental health during this time, it is especially important to reach out and find the many resources offered at Hamline, like Counseling and Health Services located in the basement of Manor Hall.