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Used sporadically in pre-Covid times, the term “doomscrolling” has become instantly relatable in a year dominated by the pandemic, lockdowns and Trump tweets. And now it has won the seal of approval of New Zealand.
Always keen to embrace new trends, voters chose it from a long list of words, many of which either came into existence, or rose to prominence, during the year.
“Bubble” took second spot in the annual survey by the Public Address website, ahead of #NZHellhole, a social media label that came a day after outgoing US president Donald Trump said in August that New Zealand’s latest Covid-19 community outbreak was out of control, despite data proving otherwise.
Kiwis responded by posting quips and images of beaches and mountains and sumptuous food. “Awful day here in the #NZHellhole,” wrote one user. “The Nelson Market was cancelled so had to get fresh-baked bread and organic sausages from the farmer’s market instead.”
In a very pandemic-influenced list, Covidiot, lockdown, go hard go early and Bloomfield made the top 10.
Last month, Dr Ashley Bloomfield – the director general of health, who presented the regular Covid-19 televised updates – was nominated, but modestly withdrew, for TV personality of the year along with primetime news anchors. He did, however, accept a mayoral citation from his home town of Lower Hutt, and the NZ Medical Association’s highest accolade, the Chair’s Award.
While there is nothing wrong with keeping up with the news, health professionals warn that, doomscrolling – the activity of scrolling through a feed to read items about tragic or disastrous events – can affect mental health.
The founder of Public Address, Russell Brown, said the year had so exhausted him he was unable to complete his traditional mock press release announcing the results.
“There has just been far too much 2020,” Brown told reporters, “and quite frankly, it’s used up my sense of irony. I’m at a point where I can’t even do sarcasm, let alone satire.”
After his brief remarks, Brown excused himself, saying: “I just need to go and check Sweden’s daily case numbers. Well, that and make sure Trump hasn’t pulled another fully depraved stunt since I checked an hour ago. There’s probably a new existential climate threat too …”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: ‘Doomscrolling’ chosen as New Zealand word of the year for 2020 | New Zealand