Chances are, we’ve all suffered from some degree of ‘Feed Scrolling Syndrome’ at some point or another. According to Urban Dictionary, this is when ‘you've been scrolling through your social media feed for so long, that you can't seem to stop scrolling.’ This almost compulstion to check, check and check again is a problem for many reasons, not least of which is the time that gets swallowed up in the process, which might be better spent elsewhere. The second issue with this constant connection relates to its effect on brain chemistry. Scientists say that scrolling is becoming a compulsion, driven by a combination of pleasure and anxiety, that keeps us scrolling back for more.The psychology is both complex and fascinating, since it is suggested that the reason we become reliant on the act of scrolling is to provide the reassurance that we’ve not missed out on anything (FOMO), coupled with the excitement of being the first to see and acknowledge something that’s been shared. Regardless of the reasons, the bottom line is that we are all probably scrolling too much, and missing out on the life before us. It makes sense, then that The Royal Society for public Health coined the idea of Scroll Free September. The aim is to reduce the negative impact of social media on your life, and to bring a greater sense of awareness to what opportunities are passing by beyond our screens. The idea is great in principle, but for those who rely on social media for work, for example, then a middle ground might be a better way to go. After all, social media can have some positive effects, and is a potential support for good mental health and wellbeing if used correctly, given the almost universal reach and opportunity to connect with like minded people that it provides. From this stance, why not try ‘Scroll THREE September?
The theory is that the first three scrolls are when you are most engaged, so by stopping at this quota, you are effectively making the conscious decision to forgo the kind of mindless scrolling which swallows up your time and brain power, while still being able to enjoy the pleasure of a social ‘fix’ when you need it.