How AI and Social Media Are Affecting Teenagers Today

How AI and Social Media Are Affecting Teenagers Today

TikTok, Instagram, and social media have created a toxic culture in which people are constantly affected by negative advice on weight loss and  misinformation by less-than-trustworthy sources. Artificial Intelligence has grown to take common advice from online and start regurgitating these same things, often producing negative results as seen by the National Eating Disorder Association's recent controversy. In this controversy, an AI chatbot was used to alleviate people's issues on its helpline. Instead of producing positive advice, the chatbot ended up producing really bad weight loss advice. Following this, the organization immediately shut down this bot.

Body image and weight loss advice are common forms of culture on both social media and now artificial intelligence. In fact, an article from Healthline outlines this toxic culture. The article explained how there was an absolute lack of expert opinions and often a lot of weight-loss content was from people without expertise or qualifications. The article followed a study on TikTok's content which exposed an algorithm that proceeds to lift up the negative, toxic environment filled with misinformation, rather than lift up expert advice. This content negatively affects women specifically, who are more likely to be affected by this type of content. It is content like this that is so widespread on the internet which brings up the next issue.

Artificial intelligence nowadays is often done by scraping lots of content online for specific things. Now that is fine, there is plenty of good content online that will produce good results. But the problem is that people on the internet aren't always right, but a chatbot is made to seem like it is confident about the results it got. But sometimes the results produced by a chatbot may not actually be factual. With the modern generation's increasing reliance on ChatGPT and other software, teenagers are becoming more prone to misinformation than ever. In fact, this is now becoming a security issue with reports of malware being produced through this bot. This over-reliance on AI and lack of understanding of its limits are causing drastic issues for teenagers nowadays. That and the recent controversy with the NEDA go to show how artificial intelligence is often harmful, especially for younger audiences. In fact, it's seen that more teenagers know about ChatGPT than their parents, which is alarming considering the AI is not at the level of being accurate enough to have relied on such a level.

Chatbots like ChatGPT will eventually scour the internet to a level that will start producing the same misinformation seen online right back to its users. This is a problem that is already being seen, as there are many safety risks and malicious content being generated by the chatbot. Looking at social media, you can see all sorts of content, some of which may be making false statements or portrayals. An AI is not at the level at which it can always filter through this content properly and fact-check everything. This is why it is incredibly dangerous to be using this type of chatbot at such a level.

With all of this content and the problems of the future coming to play in 2023, there is only one generation that will be tasked with dealing with it, and that's Generation Z. As with all good things, artificial intelligence, and social media come at their costs. From job security to misinformation, the problems this generation will have to face become more and more apparent as we see the continued growth of all of this technology. And maybe one day, we can live in a more controlled, better, and more positive environment on both social media and on chatbots.

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