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The Shift in How We Use the Internet

What’s Happening Online Today

Back in 2021, the internet began changing in a big way. It wasn’t just about sharing memes or catching up on social media anymore. Platforms like Twitter started using smart algorithms that decided what we should see online based on what keeps us clicking more, not necessarily what’s most genuine or new. This has made our online conversations feel less human and more like talking to machines.

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How Algorithms Shape What We See

These smart systems, or algorithms, choose posts that keep us engaged but don’t always offer something real or new. This has led to fewer real conversations and more interactions that feel automated or fake. It’s like the internet is becoming a place run by robots, where finding real, human posts is getting harder.

When You Can’t Tell If It’s a Human or a Bot

AI’s Growing Role on Social Media

By 2024, artificial intelligence (AI) has gotten even smarter. Now, AI doesn’t just help create things on the internet—it actually talks and interacts with us like humans do. On platforms like Twitter, these AI bots are so good that it’s hard to tell them apart from real people.

Why Social Media Uses AI So Much

Social media companies make money when we interact more with their posts. So, they use AI bots to write and interact, which increases these interactions and makes the companies more money. This focus on profit has filled our feeds with more AI-generated stuff, making it even harder to find real human interactions.

The Problems with Bots Everywhere

The Danger of Malicious Bots

With so many bots online, there are new risks. For example, some bad bots create fake clicks on ads or try to break into people’s accounts. According to a cybersecurity firm, about half of all internet traffic now comes from bots, and many of these are doing harmful things.

Keeping the Internet Real

The big challenge for websites is to tell the good bots from the bad ones. While some bots help us by organizing information or improving search results, others are just there to cause trouble. The goal is to make AI better at helping us without letting the bad bots take over.

Looking Ahead: How We Might Fix This

Bringing Real Human Interaction Back

As we move forward, big internet platforms are likely to try new ways to keep our interactions genuine. They might use better ways to check if users are real people and not bots, and they’ll try to make it easier for us to tell if we’re talking to a human or a machine.

The Rise of Private, More Human Spaces

Places like WhatsApp and Discord show a new trend: moving away from public, bot-filled spaces to more private settings where real conversations can happen. These platforms might lead to new kinds of communities that value real connections over artificial ones.

Let’s explore how the balance between humans and bots on the internet is changing, the role of AI in shaping our social media experiences, and what might be done to make sure real human interactions stay at the heart of the digital world.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do algorithms actually influence what we see online?

Algorithms are like behind-the-scenes directors that decide which posts show up on your social media feed. They track what you click on, how long you look at something, and what you like or share. Then, they use this information to show you more of the same type of content. This might sound helpful, but it can also lead you to see a repetitive mix of posts that prioritize keeping you engaged over providing new or diverse perspectives. Essentially, it’s like being in a bubble where everything looks familiar and little surprises you.

2. Why are companies so interested in using AI for social media?

The main reason is money. AI can interact with users, create posts, and keep conversations going without getting tired. This continuous engagement boosts the visibility of ads and sponsored content, which is how platforms like Twitter and Facebook make most of their money. By using AI, these companies can keep costs low while increasing profits, as they don’t need to hire as many human content creators or moderators.

3. What can we do to ensure we’re interacting with real people online?

It’s becoming trickier to distinguish between bots and humans, but there are a few things you can do. Be skeptical of profiles or messages that seem overly generic or that push too many products or agendas. Use privacy settings to control who can see and interact with your posts, and stick to platforms that verify user identities. Lastly, engage more on private social platforms like WhatsApp and Discord, which are less likely to be targeted by bots and offer a space for genuine interactions.

Sources The Guardian