Working, scrolling, and worrying: Doomscrolling at work and its implications for work engagement

Ian M. Hughes, Melissa G. Keith, Juseob Lee, Cheryl E. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social media use is a ubiquitous phenomenon, both at home and at work. Though research on the work-related impacts of social media use is growing, not much is understood about the dynamics of doomscrolling (i.e., compulsively browsing through negative information on social media) behavior at work. Drawing from Conservation of Resources Theory and the Perseverative Cognition Framework, we position doomscrolling as a threat to personal resources, a threat that contributes to rumination, and a threat that ultimately reduces work engagement. Moreover, we posit that the association between doomscrolling and rumination will be stronger for employees higher in neuroticism. Across a time-lagged (N = 352) and daily diary (NLevel 1 = 630, NLevel 2 = 126) study, we find general support for these propositions. Doomscrolling appears to be a potent source of stress for employees—particularly those higher in neuroticism—that contributes to a decreased level of engagement with one's work. Given our path analytic and multivariate findings, we strongly encourage further research on the organizational implications of doomscrolling behavior. Further implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108130
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume153
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Doomscrolling
  • Neuroticism
  • Rumination
  • Social media
  • Work engagement

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