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14.01.2022

Doomscrolling into Blue Monday

It was just after 5pm and I’d closed my laptop, finished with work for the day. I picked up my phone and read the latest headline that flashed up on my screen. It wasn’t until 45 minutes later that I realised I was still at my desk, sitting in the dark, and had fallen victim to a terrible fate: doomscrolling.

If you’re not familiar with the term, doomscrolling is when you can’t stop yourself from scrolling through distressing, saddening, or generally just bad news stories. It’s become especially prominent since the pandemic began. It’s like driving past a car crash and trying to get a look at what happened – you know it’s awful and frightening and not something you want to see, but you can’t look away.

A lot of alarming things have been in the news lately, not least the ongoing effect of Omicron, yet another illicit Downing Street party, and the cladding scandal in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy. If that’s not enough, Blue Monday is just around the corner. Even though it has been exposed as pseudo-science, there’s something about this supposedly ‘most depressing day’ that’s ringing true for me this new year. I have totally embraced the fear, the distress, and the hopelessness that the endless doomscrolling brings.

It’s easy to lose hope when the voices you listen to are ones of hopelessness, but as a follower of Jesus, hope is never far from us. We have just come out of Advent, when we rejoice that Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. Even though Advent is over, we must continue to trust God and his promises, and trust that he does show up in our anxiety and concerns. Hope isn’t just wishing he would intervene or show his face somewhere, it’s having faith that he’s already there.

It can be hard to see how God is at work while you’re experiencing difficult times, and sadly there are many other people who feel distressed and anxious, too. So as Blue Monday approaches, I encourage you to share the powerful message of hope with those around you. Maybe this weekend instead of clicking on your news app, you could call a colleague to catch up instead, or give flowers to a neighbour, or say hello to passers-by as you walk the dog? Let’s demonstrate how hope conquers fear and doom.

Wherever you are, however you’re feeling, may the hope of Jesus transform you and your frontline.

Kim McCord 
Data and Systems Manager, LICC

 

Comments

  1. Thanks Kim – from one doomscroller to another, such a helpful and timely reflection.

    By Antony Billington  -  14 Jan 2022
  2. Much needed article – thanks!

    By Pamela Cribbin  -  14 Jan 2022
  3. A new word for my vocabulary . As a believer hope has to my word and God has given me reassurances on hope . Ofcourse I fall short by being a daily sinner but I try to hold onto hope through accepting Jesus as my saviour. I also hold onto 1 john1 v5-10 coupling it with perseverance and obedience. My family challenge me on the holes in creation theory which grow daily due to new discoveries of 250 million year old skeletons etc. Perhaps a thought on this would be helpful to believers.

    By Victor magowan  -  14 Jan 2022
    • Hi Victor, the creation/evolution argument is enormous, requiring deep scientific knowledge across a huge range of disciplines. Suffice to say that it is the Theory of Evolution that is now under threat and an increasing number of reputable scientists consider it untenable. You might find this Website a helpful start: https://www.discovery.org/v/darwin-dissenters-speak/ and https://dissentfromdarwin.org/. More fundamentally there are no credible hypotheses on how the first living organism was formed from a ‘dead’ planet. The debate can be confusing as some Christians have been taught a ‘Young Earth Theory’ (i.e. the world was created in 6 x 24 hours less than 10,000 years ago) but this idea currently has little scientific evidence or support from most scholarly interpretations of the Hebrew texts of Genesis. I hope this helps!

      By Peter Riley  -  14 Jan 2022
  4. Thanks Kim, just what I needed today.

    By Alistair R Bill  -  14 Jan 2022
  5. Enjoyed this. I find a glimpse of early morning winter nature, shafts of light from scripture, & a dose of CS Lewis all powerful ‘hope & joy medicine’. And to know God can & does use not just the already known & accomplished, but also the small & unnoticed among us, like Bilbo Baggins, to unearth great treasure, thrills me too:)

    And Victor, there are no end of resources to help handle the science/faith challenge. From a quick online search, here’s one, but there are many others: http://www.scienceandfaith.org. Hope you find some helpful answers, cos they’re certainly out there.

    By Bruce Gulland  -  14 Jan 2022

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