17 votes

Suggestions for wholesome alternatives to doomscrolling?

I skim-read the news, 90+% just headlines, for an hour a day, if not more. I do like to stay informed, so I feel it's not entirely wasted effort, but most days, I'm caught up within 10 minutes, and after that, it's basically just apocalypse FOMO (is that a 'thing'? It should be).

Lately, as an alternative, I've started paging my way back thru the xkcd archives.

What else would you recommend, low-effort, distracting, not horrible?

17 comments

  1. nacho
    Link
    I would recommend not getting news online. Still, not paying attention to substantial news and society as it develops around me isn't something I'd ever consider. Civics are important. Everyone...

    I would recommend not getting news online. Still, not paying attention to substantial news and society as it develops around me isn't something I'd ever consider. Civics are important. Everyone should care about what's happening around them, at least a little.

    Subscribe to a print paper or two of your choosing (I like the weekly format of The Economist). If you're willing to spend 30 minutes on news as it is, you'll get much more in depth stuff, or local stuff that actually matters to you depending on what paper you get.

    Or do news podcasts. Find one or a couple you like. There are a ton of good ones that focus on different topics, different areas, different styles, different types of news etc.


    The outrage-machines that headline-doomscrolling consists of just isn't worth one's time. It doesn't leave you with anything substantial, analysis, insight, or other value. It's just a neverending cycle of minutiae in what's on-going without context. Yes, there are tragedies, accidents etc. all over the world. There's no reason I want all of that into my living room.


    The best choice I've made in years is never to browse news/apps/social media on my phone. That's a game-changer.

    7 votes
  2. [2]
    spctrvl
    Link
    Ironically xkcd has the answer.

    Ironically xkcd has the answer.

    6 votes
    1. vegai
      Link Parent
      Quite brilliant. Once, I managed to remove an addictive game from my life with a simple trick: I decided that every time I get a craving to play the game (which happened several times a day), I...

      Quite brilliant. Once, I managed to remove an addictive game from my life with a simple trick: I decided that every time I get a craving to play the game (which happened several times a day), I will first sit down to meditate for 10 minutes and then play. I figured that at least I get to meditate.

      The end result was that immediately after that decision, for a period of 3 months, I played that game exactly zero times. Which is kinda weird, since I don't exactly hate meditation, it just happened to be exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do when that craving came up.

      2 votes
  3. [2]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    I like youtube videos of people doing woodworking or restoration projects. Hand Tool Rescue is great, as his stuff is mostly zero commentary. It's also slightly surreal now and again, but that's...

    I like youtube videos of people doing woodworking or restoration projects. Hand Tool Rescue is great, as his stuff is mostly zero commentary. It's also slightly surreal now and again, but that's easy to miss. Thomas Johnson Antique Furniture Restoration is pleasant; he's a detailed craftsman and is inspiring, as he's gotta be in his 70s+ and still does this excellent work. His narration manner is quite calming as well.

    In general, videos of people making things are great. There's a sense of progression, it doesn't ask much of you, they (almost) never talk politics, there's a cool thing at the end.

    4 votes
    1. zonk
      Link Parent
      Not OP, but thanks for the recommendation :) I really enjoy such channels and I'm glad people are sharing them. In case you're not aware of it yet, I can recommend watchmaking/maintenance videos!...

      Not OP, but thanks for the recommendation :) I really enjoy such channels and I'm glad people are sharing them. In case you're not aware of it yet, I can recommend watchmaking/maintenance videos! For example wristwatch revival which I also mentioned in another thread not too long ago.

      If you have more channels that display craftsmanship in chill videos, feel free to share them :)

      4 votes
  4. [3]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    Video games if you're not trying to do physical activities to get away. If you need something mindless you can at least get a few brain cells firing. Heck even some solitaire. I actually get most...

    Video games if you're not trying to do physical activities to get away. If you need something mindless you can at least get a few brain cells firing. Heck even some solitaire.

    I actually get most of my news here and gawk at some of the more sensationalist stuff that occasionally makes it through. I supplement with specifically looking up specific major events to catch up on what's going on in the big picture.

    4 votes
    1. mihaitodor
      Link Parent
      Minesweeper helps me sometimes...

      Minesweeper helps me sometimes...

      3 votes
    2. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      I've taken to something called Kittens Game on my phone (it's free in browsers). It's basically one of the most popular incremental games out there and even though one run will last you a month,...

      I've taken to something called Kittens Game on my phone (it's free in browsers). It's basically one of the most popular incremental games out there and even though one run will last you a month, the game continues and you can find yourself playing it for months to years passively.

      It doesn't look like much but I've found it to be a big help to avoid social media and doomscrolling when I get that compulsive need to look at my phone when I'm doing things like standing around waiting, or avoiding eye contact in an elevator. I think the key is that you interact with it much like you would many apps, clicking and tapping things to pump those numbers up.

      Compared to pretty much any other video game I've tried on my phone, this has been the one that has pulled me away from social media the most effectively. It's always fun to check in on my kitten civilization and see what I need to build next to get them to the next stage.

      1 vote
  5. greatbacon
    Link
    Have you considered picking up a hobby that doesn't require you to look at a screen? I've found myself playing my guitar a little more than I used to. Helps that I got a wall mount for it too so...

    Have you considered picking up a hobby that doesn't require you to look at a screen? I've found myself playing my guitar a little more than I used to. Helps that I got a wall mount for it too so it's easy to pickup.

    Maybe watercolors or just pen doodles on printer paper?

    4 votes
  6. RNG
    Link
    Two solutions have worked for me: TikTok For all its faults, it does scratch that itch without being endlessly depressing. You'll be scrolling, but if your fyp is anything like mine, it will...

    Two solutions have worked for me:


    TikTok

    For all its faults, it does scratch that itch without being endlessly depressing. You'll be scrolling, but if your fyp is anything like mine, it will center on humor, hobbies, and memes (note: the algo is good. really good.) I occasionally see political content, but it's something like a highlight reel of one's experience at their first pride event, or someone just talking about their life. This is the nicorette approach; you'll be addicted to scrolling, but less depressed and miserable while doing it.


    Reddit (custom account)

    There's a strategy to having a positive experience on Reddit. Create a new account, unsubscribe from all default subreddits, and only subscribe to subreddits that you have a positive interaction with. All those weird hobby communities, maybe some feel good communities sprinkled in as well. It is like using a completely different platform, and I highly recommend it.

    4 votes
  7. lou
    (edited )
    Link
    I find interesting that you ask for good doom scrolling, when, in my view, ideally we shouldn't doomscroll at all. Not that I'm immune to it, but if I was asking for a solution it would be for one...

    I find interesting that you ask for good doom scrolling, when, in my view, ideally we shouldn't doomscroll at all. Not that I'm immune to it, but if I was asking for a solution it would be for one that seeks to eliminate it completely.

    Anyhow, the one thing occupies my doomscrolling time is playing chess on the phone. So maybe try playing a game that you find stimulating.

    2 votes
  8. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Why not get off of your phone entirely?

    Why not get off of your phone entirely?

    2 votes
  9. chromakode
    Link
    I've been building a journaling app I can reach for in brief moments I'd otherwise spend scrolling my phone. So far I've been building it for myself -- this is the first time I've actually shared...

    I've been building a journaling app I can reach for in brief moments I'd otherwise spend scrolling my phone. So far I've been building it for myself -- this is the first time I've actually shared it. I can relate to your desire to find more productive use of the time. I have a pretty terrible memory, so having some tidbits of past days to reflect on has been pretty neat.

    2 votes
  10. [2]
    autumn
    Link
    I use The Old Reader in combination with NetNewsWire to read interesting blogs. Substack will let you subscribe to RSS feeds which is where I get a lot of content. It’s mostly wholesome stuff with...

    I use The Old Reader in combination with NetNewsWire to read interesting blogs. Substack will let you subscribe to RSS feeds which is where I get a lot of content. It’s mostly wholesome stuff with just enough non-doom new mixed in that I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

    2 votes
    1. nerb
      Link Parent
      Yeah, this is The Way and it has been since RSS came out. Nothing's changed, except for the concerted effort to kill RSS. Curate your blogs and news sources down to just the authors you respect or...

      Yeah, this is The Way and it has been since RSS came out. Nothing's changed, except for the concerted effort to kill RSS. Curate your blogs and news sources down to just the authors you respect or that put out high quality stuff.

      2 votes
  11. bub
    Link
    I still listen to news on the radio... If that doesn't sound too 1940's for you, listening to NPR (in the U.S.) keeps me up-to-date without much in the way of anxiety or addiction.

    I still listen to news on the radio...

    If that doesn't sound too 1940's for you, listening to NPR (in the U.S.) keeps me up-to-date without much in the way of anxiety or addiction.

    2 votes
  12. DMBuce
    Link
    Not sure what country you're in but as someone in the U.S., I've found The Flip Side to be a good way of staying informed with minimal effort. https://www.theflipside.io/

    Not sure what country you're in but as someone in the U.S., I've found The Flip Side to be a good way of staying informed with minimal effort. https://www.theflipside.io/

    1 vote