The Effect of Scrolling Syndrome on Mental Health

The Effect of Scrolling Syndrome on Mental Health

The Effect of Scrolling Syndrome on Mental Health


Constantly scrolling right now? You’re not alone, but it could be impacting your wellbeing

Just before I started researching this, an alert came up on my phone – yep the dreaded screen-time report. Instead of looking at it, I hastily swiped the notification away because I knew the numbers would be damaging.

Talking to friends and colleagues, I know I’m not alone. A lot of us are on our phones more than usual since lockdown.

A recent YouGov survey commissioned by magazine app Readly found that 8 in 10 Brits admit to spending meaningless time online. But, is spending meaningless time online such a bad thing?

Normally I would say no. I believe there are many positives social media can bring, but these are extraordinary times and the survey did find it hugely negatively impacting 3 in 10 Brits (rising to 42% in those aged 18 to 29). The common areas social media is affecting include self-esteem, depression and problem sleeping.

What exactly is Scrolling Syndrome?

“You take out your solid phone from the pocket of your jeans. You see there is no new message. You thought you felt a vibration.

You swipe the screen to unlock your phone. You have no agenda .You swipe right and you swipe left to find the app you want to open.

You touch on the blue squarish icon. You start to scroll. And scroll. You see an interesting video, some puppies running around the house. You laugh and think that is “so cute”.

You continue scrolling. 5 minutes passed. You press the black circle button at the bottom of the phone. You quit the app with the blue bar on top.

You touch on a brown graphical camera icon this time. You scroll. You see the pictures of some cute girls and handsome guys. And you see the ice cream your friend had yesterday.”


Facebook’s own research found that Instagram in particular—which is used by 71 percent of young adults, according to the Pew Research Centre—negatively impacts mental health. That’s because the carefully curated, “perfect” images on the app elicit feelings of envy and inferiority.

In addition to producing negative emotions, zombie scrolling syndrome also prevents us from engaging in positive IRL experiences.

Stay safe, look after your mental and take care,

Sammi xx

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