Doomscrolling? Doomsurfing? The question is – how do we stop? …
Cynthia and Marcy are camped out on the couch tensely scrolling through their phones. They are nervous, anxious, stressed. But they can’t stop scrolling.
Cynthia: Oh my gosh. Nooooo.
Marcy (not looking up): What now?
Cynthia: The latest Covid-19 stats from Florida are frightful. Check out CNN.
Marcy: Can’t. I’m reading about climate change and the giant heatwave getting ready to sit over the United States for the next three months. Check out the Weather Channel.
Cynthia: Can’t. I’m reading Dr. Fauci’s prediction of how bad Covid-19 could get by next week. I’m on the LA Times front page.
Marcy: I’m on NBC learning about pay discrepancy between white men and … practically everyone else.
Penelope Kitten enters.
She’s wearing a pool floatie and flip flops.
She sees Cynthia and Marcy frenetically scrolling from one bad news article to another.
Cynthia: Oh no. Theatres and other arts venues won’t reopen until Spring 2021. At least. What will actors do without work?
Marcy: There’s never enough paid work to go around for actors anyway.
Cynthia: Yeah, but now we can’t even work for free!
penelope kitten (squeaking): stop!
Cynthia (scrolling): Can’t stop, P. I’ve gotta find out how the latest stats on Los Angeles’s homeless crisis.
penelope kitten (squeaking): stop!
Marcy (scrolling): Can’t stop, P. I need to look at the latest list of Covid-19 symptoms on Kaiser Health News.
Cynthia and Marcy’s doom scrolling escalates even as their eyes hurt and despair sets in.
penelope kitten: stop! stop! stop!
Cynthia and Marcy: We can’t!
penelope kitten: i don’t wanna doomsurf! i wanna floatie surf in the apartment pool!
Penelope Kitten races to the wifi, takes a big breath, and dramatically pulls out the plug.
Cynthia and Marcy’s phones abruptly shut down.
It takes a moment for their blood pressure and eyes to recalibrate.
Cynthia: Whew. Thanks, P. It was like we were on a hamster wheel and couldn’t get off.
Marcy: I hate hamsters. Unless they’re on a menu.
Penelope Kitten grabs a white board, markers, and a stopwatch.
penelope kitten (squeaking): no more doomscrolling. You have exactly 15 minutes from the time you wake up until 4 hours before bedtime to check your news feed.
Cynthia and Marcy are beginning to panic.
penelope kitten: it’s the only way.
Cynthia: But … but … we need to know …
penelope kitten: what? what do you need to know?
penelope kitten: no.
Cynthia and Marcy: No?!
penelope kitten: no. you don’t. we stick to the schedule. only 15 minutes per day for doomscrolling. now get your floaties. i’ll see ya poolside.
Penelope Kitten stomps outside in her flip flops.. We hear a big splash as she jumps into the apartment pool wearing her floatie.
Marcy: When did she get so bossy?
Cynthia (looking surreptitiously at the wifi box plug): Hey Marcy?
Marcy: I’m on it.
*Doom Scrolling/Surfing. It’s a hard habit to break.
Experts (not just Penelope) say to limit the amount of time you spend looking at the news on your phone to 15-20 minutes per day.
And, to stop all phone scrolling 4-6 hours before bedtime to get a good night’s sleep and avoid nightmares.
We know it’s good to stay informed. But, if you find yourself sinking into the depths of doomsurfing despair, it might be a good idea to jump off off this particular surfboard. Hang 10 somewhere else.
Good luck, Peeps! Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.
Thanks Penelope. You are so strong and assertive and able to resist the magnetic pull of the news cycle. You’re a role model.
But I need help. Could you start a Doomscroller Anonymous? I cannot do it on my own.
aye aye sir. check ur email. we’ll do it over zoom.
u bring the treats, please.
Wow! 15-20 minutes sounds impossible, but I will try if P-kitty says so.
I’d give it a go. Otherwise we are all going to have PTSD by the time this is all over.
do it, please. it will be good 4 ur mental health.
No theater or concerts until spring next year!??! I can’t do that! And I’m stuck in Florida, too. I’d ask if things could get worse, but I’m not dumb enough to invite that kind of bad luck.
Fortunately, I’ve gotten really good at news-avoidance. P kitty jumped in the pool. Feel free to come jump in my head. The water’s warm and it’s always a fun time. ?
u get a p+ (similar to an a+ but better)! congrats!
i’ll jump on your head anytime.
can i get a belly rub in return?
Yep! Of course you can! You gots lots of awesome snuggly belleh, like Clarence!
ps. clarence is so v handsome. (blushing)
Girls, great job on the PSA! It is SUCH a slippery slope from trying to comprehend all this ever-changing stuff—to the Dark Side! Also…great kitty photos as always.
thank u. luv u.
the dark side is no fun.
we like fun fun fun.