Urgent warning over big mistake Facebook users should NEVER make | The Sun

CONSTANTLY turning to negative news on social media can have an impact on your mental health, experts have warned.

Major gloomy events like the coronavirus pandemic can make it easy for people to get sucked into reading the same bleak stories, particularly on Facebook and other platforms.

Experts have called the experience "doomscrolling".

It can leave people feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

Lengthy Covid lockdowns are thought to have been especially bad for doomscrolling, as many were cooped up at home with more spare time than usual.

"This all suggests that when people fixate on and ruminate about disconcerting issues and events in the news, they should experience a greater incidence of chronic stress and anxiety as well as physical distress," scientists say in new research.

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"Therefore, we hypothesize that those with higher levels of problematic news consumption will experience greater mental and physical ill-being than those with lower levels of problematic news consumption."

But staying informed is still important, so how do you find the right balance?

Writing for The Conversation, researchers in Australia have come up with some tips on how people can better prevent themselves from being drawn to too much bad news all the time.

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Set a time

If you're struggling with too much doom and gloom online, the first thing you should think about is managing your time better.

Setting a specific time in the day to catch up, as opposed to several times throughout the day, is a good way to start.

Avoid 'pushed' notifications

Facebook and other social media can make news even more immediate.

Ensuring notifications for such content is off on Facebook will prevent bad news from coming your way at any time during the day.

Add ‘friction’ to break the habit

With everything at your finger tip online, it's easy to find yourself mindlessly drawn to the bad stuff.

"One participant moved all her social media and news apps into a folder which she hid on the last page of her smartphone home screen," they explain.

"She told us this strategy helped her significantly reduce doomscrolling."

Talk to others

Telling others that you're struggling to control your consumption can also be helpful, as they can keep your limits in check.

It's useful if they're responsible for exposing you to too much negative news as well, so that going forward they'll be more aware and can scale it back.

Time limits

If you think you might be using Facebook too much in general, the app itself actually has a time limit feature to help you out.

You can find this by opening the main Menu in the app and expanding Settings and Privacy.

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From here, you should see an option called Your time on Facebook.

Tap this, then you can choose See Tools, where there are a number of time management options available.

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