Do you often find yourself doomscrolling? Doomscrolling, if you haven’t come across the term before is defined as ‘the activity of spending a lot of time looking at your phone or computer and reading bad or negative news stories‘. It was something I found I started doing during the pandemic. Stuck at home and isolated, I wanted to know all of the details of what was going on in the outside world. I’d find myself scrolling the news and social media sites, before I realised the detriment it was having on my mental health and that it was making me anxious. I had to be firm with myself and limit the amount of time I was spending on the internet and I found when I did so it made me calmer.
Then with the start of the Ukrainian war, I once again found myself slipping down this slippery slope. Fuelled by the horror of what was going on and the fear of how it might escalate, I found myself slipping back down the slippery slope of doomscrolling. As if knowing all of the up to the minute information might give me more of a sense of control, that I might be able to keep my family safer from the horrors should they escalate. Once again I had to tell myself to put my phone and the internet down.
Keeping up to date with the News in a Controlled Way
The thing is, I do like to keep myself up to date with the news and current events. But I want to do this in a controlled way. Where I can keep up to date without falling into the trap of doomscrolling and losing myself in a sea of negativity. What we all have to remember is that news sites want us to be clicking and reading all of the time as this generates advertising revenue for them. They want to keep us on edge and wanting more, reading and scrolling.
I used to do limit my access by only allowing myself to check the news in the morning and the evening, but now there is an even better solution. A new app called Charlie. Think of it as your personal journalist.
Charlie News App
Charlie is a brand new app available for free on the Apple and Android app stores. It’s a news app powered by an AI, but it’s designed with the aim of preventing doomscrolling and letting you choose how much news you would like to read and in what depth at any given time.
You can log onto the app anonymously and it offers you the main news stories of the day. So you can very quickly bring yourself up to date on what is going on in the world. From there, you can then choose to stop or you can delve into more details on any of the given stories. From there it will give you links to various news reports too for you to click through and read.
Charlie is also clever and learns your reading habits such as how many stories you’ve read, what they’re about, where they’re from and whether they’re positive or negative pieces. Charlie can keep you updated on stories. Want an update on a story or court case you read about a couple of weeks ago? No problem.
It’s clever and intuitive and changes the way people can interact with the news, keeping it more on their terms and distancing from evocative headlines and clickbait.
Access to More Newspapers
One of the things I really like about Charlie is the variety of news sources it uses. As well as the major news sites we all know well, it gets stories for smaller lesser-known and local newspapers too. With over 295 newspapers closing down since 2005 it’s nice to get other newspapers greater access to a bigger audience. But also for us the reader, it gets news stories from other sources, rather than large ones that now dominate the sector.
Less Anxiety, More News
For me, the most exciting part about Charlie is less anxiety, more news. I can keep up to date on what is going on, and when I have had enough I can break away. I can stop getting sucked into the fear and negativity. Most importantly, I can look after my mental health, escaping the compulsion to doomscroll. Instead, I can get on with my day, put my phone down and focus on being present in my life and my children instead.