In defence of doomscrolling

Cycling through bad news on social media is doing our heads in. It’s also one of the few recourses open to us in a failing democracy.

It was on the night of 26 July, 2005—some 10 hours after wading through chest-high turbid waters dotted with floating cars, overturned rickshaws, bobbing buses, and the bloated carcasses of bandicoots and street dogs—that I became an active participant in the early aughts version of doomscrolling.

There were no smartphones, no high-speed internet, and no social media other than Orkut and a then-nascent Facebook. And on that fateful day, there was no mobile connectivity either. Yet, Mumbai doomscrolled. The city had gone under after receiving 944mm of rain in less than 24 hours, its highest ever. The ones who’d survived …


Roshni P. Nair

Roshni is a features writer and former editor of The Morning Context's Chaos team. Her career spans The Ken, Reuters, the Hindustan Times and DNA. She is a recipient of the UNFPA Laadli award and was shortlisted for the RedInk Awards 2016 for her story on Mumbai’s leprosy colonies. Her far-flung ideas would sometimes drive our editor-in-chief Ashish up the wall, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way (even if he didn’t admit it).