New Jungle Juice, a Student Tech Hack in School, and AI Patterns Revealed

Words by
Jackie Baucom

MAY 23, 2024

New Jungle Juice, a Student Tech Hack in School, and AI Patterns Revealed

As we wrap up the end of another school year, parents should be informed on some of the news that may affect their children. This week’s roundup includes stories about new trends, and others that confirm our hunches. 

The Social Media Dilemma

A study involving young people ages 14-22, identified both benefits and harms of social media on young people’s mental health. 

The study showed that benefits include support and connection, while harms include stressors that require active management (such as unfollowing and blocking accounts).

Marginalized groups face unique struggles.

A Double-Edged Sword: How Diverse Communities of Young People Think About the Multifaceted Relationship Between Social Media and Mental Health | Common Sense Media

The New Jungle Juice

BORGs, or “blackout rage gallons,” have become popular among Gen Z at parties.

These gallon-sized jugs are assembled by young people and often contain vodka, water, flavor enhancers, and electrolytes.

Drinking a whole gallon of the concoction, whose popularity has been fueled by social media, is similar to consuming 17 standard drinks, and poses a high risk of alcohol poisoning.

What is BORG drinking, and why is it a dangerous trend? An expert explains | CNN

Tech Titans vs. Child Protection Laws

Google and Meta are leading a lobby battle against New York’s child protection laws, with spending exceeding $1 million. 

The bills aim to regulate addictive algorithms and limit data collection on minors. 

Big Tech claims free speech concerns, while advocates stress the need to shield children from online dangers.

Meta, Google leading nearly $1M lobbying fight to kill NY online child safety bills | New York Post

Fast-Paced Cartoons Can Negatively Affect Kids

“Kid-friendly” shows often feature bright colors and catchy tunes, but they can impact children negatively.

Fast-paced shows like “Cocomelon” can harm attention spans and executive brain function, while overstimulation from such programs can disrupt sensory and cognitive development.

Instead, shows like “Bluey” and “Puffin Rock” offer wholesome, educational content that supports healthy development.

Why Kids’ Shows Like ‘Cocomelon’ Hamper Critical Brain Development | Forbes

Student’s Hacking Device Disrupts School

At Grand County High School in Moab, Utah, a student used a “Flipper Zero” device to turn classroom technology on and off (even damaging a phone), causing chaos and distress among staff.

Police warned parents that disrupting school operations can lead to misdemeanor charges.

The device in question can be used for other illegal activities, so parents are instructed to be conscientious about the tech and devices their kids have access to.

Student using ‘hacking device’ wreaks havoc at Grand County High School | KUTV

Cracking the AI Code

Not even developers fully understand how large language AI models work, which presents challenges and risks to our safety.

Anthropic had a research breakthrough where they were able to identify feature patterns.

Though challenges remain, this progress sheds light on AI’s complexities and the hope for controlling AI systems better.

A.I.’s Black Boxes Just Got a Little Less Mysterious | The New York Times

Online Predators on the Rise

A paraeducator in Spokane, Washington, was arrested for child sex crimes after posing as a young boy or girl online. 

The Seattle FBI highlights the alarming rise in online sexual exploitation, and urges parents to monitor their children’s online activities while maintaining open communication.

FBI has seen an ‘alarming increase’ in online predators: Tips to keep your kids safe |  KXLY

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