clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Apple’s CEO wants you to stop mindlessly scrolling on your phone

Apple CEO Tim Cook said he’s against mindless scrolling

An iPhone 6 with an iPhone 7 at an Apple Store in Chicago.
A customer compares her iPhone 6, left, with an iPhone 7 at an Apple Store in Chicago on Sept. 16, 2016. Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that he’s against mindlessly scrolling on your phone.
Kiichiro Satom, Associated Press

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that he’s against mindlessly scrolling on your phone.

Cook, who heads the company that invented the iPhone, told CNBC at The New York Times DealBook conference Tuesday that scrolling without end is bad for your mental health.

  • “If you’re scrolling mindlessly or letting yourself being spun up on negativity, I think this is bad,” he said. “I think it’s bad for your mental health. I think it’s bad for the people around you.”

Research supports Cook’s statement. A 2016 study from the National Institute of Mental Health found increased social media use can lead to depression. If you’re scrolling infinitely on social media, that means you’re using social media more often.

Psychologist Susan Albers said that doomscrolling — defined as the act of continuously scrolling through social media or surfing the web and taking in a constant torrent of bad news — isn’t about staying informed or up to date about what’s happening — it has to do with our emotions.

  • “If you’re depressed, you often look for information that can confirm how you feel,” she said, according to the Cleveland Clinic. “If you’re feeling negative, then reading negative news reconfirms how you feel. It’s the same mindset.”

Scrolling, again and again, can become a habit, which leads to more scrolling and more negative mental health effects, Albers said.

  • “If you’re continuously scrolling, it becomes a mindless habit,” she said. “A lot of times, you might not even be aware you’re doing it. But it becomes such a habit that if you have a down moment, you might pick up your phone and start scrolling without even really being aware of it.”