Mental health has been and still is a major area of focus in the world. With the help of technologies like smart phones and easy availability of fast internet networks, there has been a rise in the awareness of mental disorders around the globe. This has contributed to destigmatizing mental illness and has created a need to address the importance of mental health.  Artificial Intelligence was invented in the 1950s and has seen its rise and fall since it was invented. Artificial Intelligence is viewed as a boon by some experts who see potential application of AI in various sectors and industries like health care sector, automobile, automation, Academia, etc.; and it is viewed as curse by some who fear that it would result in the extinction of the human species. In recent times, the application of AI in social media platforms is proving to be a double-edged sword. On one hand where the rise in social media platforms has aided in the awareness of mental illness, on the other hand the AI being used in them has become a reason for new emerging mental disorders. The strong algorithms of machine learning that is being used in social media platforms is designed to create eco chambers to trap people in so that their ‘view time’ on the social media platforms increases. This has resulted in people spending 3-4 hours daily on these social media platforms, on average.

Now, according to Neuroscience, the pre-frontal cortex of a human brain fully develops at the age of 25. Pre-frontal Cortex is a part of the frontal lobe of the human brain that is responsible for regulating our thoughts, actions, and emotions. Our human brain is in a very neuro-plastic state before the age of 25. This means that we can learn and develop ourselves at a much faster pace than we would be able to in our post-25 phase of life. That being established, it becomes an important factor to be considered when it comes to observing the rise of certain mental disorders like ADHD in children and adults due to their increased use of social media platforms, as it indicates impairment in the development phase of the brain and after the brain is fully developed. The release of the neurotransmitter, Dopamine (which is responsible for the reward-seeking behavior in humans), in the brain of a person every time they see a photograph or any information that they fancy, tends to influence the neural circuitry of that person’s brain. This fact is exploited by the AI algorithm being used in the social media platform, as its task is to keep a human engaged in the pleasure-seeking behavior. This results in young adults finding themselves losing their time mindlessly surfing on social media platforms like You tube, Google, etc.

It has been found that the trend of performing on social media platforms like Instagram, Tiktok, etc. which provide young adults an opportunity to earn money, has resulted in rise in dropouts from schools and colleges. These dropouts could be economically hazardous to a country as more and more students would want to quit education once they start earning easy money through these social media platforms. Not just that, there has been a rise in depression, anxiety and even suicide cases in young adults, due to them being harassed, ‘trolled’, or simply due to them not getting a certain number of ‘followers’ on their social media account.

The recent Search Engine platforms like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, that is driven by generative AI technology, is developed for human-like interaction that will assist us in tasks, such as composing emails, essays, and code. This platform has its benefits as it cuts down time to search answers to queries, creating impressive essays, emails, etc. This, however, has created a segway for students to escape the tough route of learning and understanding the study material, as they are showing a tendency to be dependent on such platforms. This behavior is hampering the mental development of the students as they seem to be losing their ability to think and reason.

There is no doubt that AI has benefited humans in many ways. Being a social creature, humans have been connecting with each other easily throughout the globe with the help of AI driven platforms that are easily accessible on the interweb. But too much of anything is harmful. These easily available platforms are also causing depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mental disorders like ADHD in young adults. Moderation is the key here and the coming generation of young adults will have developed a will power to practice moderation and control to escape the trap of these AI generated platforms and to live a healthy life.

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