On ‘Doomsurfing’ and ‘Doomscrolling’

During times of crisis and uncertainty, some of us pay more attention to the news, looking for answers. And this might not surprise you, but we have to say it: a lot of the news is bad. And yet we keep scrolling, keep reading article after article, unable to turn away from information that depresses us.

There is a term for that feeling when you can’t stop scrolling down Twitter, or reading news that you know will make you sad, anxious, or angry:

Before it meant “a time of catastrophic destruction and death,” doomsday referred to a day of final judgment.

The Domesday Book sounds like a tome of horrific spells, but it was really a record of English landholdings made by order of William the Conqueror in the late 11th century.

Whether you prefer to surf or scroll for your doom, don’t feel you need to take it in all at once. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!