It seems like everyone is on Facebook these days, so when browsing through articles to write about, I was drawn to one addressing how social media affects friendships. The article addressed how these sites influence teens, and as I continued its claims seemed to strongly equate correlation and causation. It spoke of how online sites give shy people a voice, because it lacks the possibly anxiety-inducing experience of speaking face to face and making eye contact. It stated that quiet personalities find their voice online, promoting a feeling of connectedness and confidence that wasn't available before. I agree that this may be possible, but one excerpt particularly blurred the line between correlation and causation, saying that "the internet's capacity for social connection" benefits lonely teens. I noticed that were no studies listed in the article that absolutely proved that the Internet's social media causes all lonesome kids to feel more socially connected. The article seems to jump from correlation to causation in regards to social media and confidence, when other factors could influence this.
The writer also makes the extraordinary claim that "One of social networking's greatest benefits is its ability to bring meaningful friendships to people who might otherwise be shunned as outcasts." Although this may be true, there is not sufficient evidence to support this claim within the article. No studies were reported that rank the benefits of social networking. I also found it interesting that the article didn't address a potential negative effect on teens using social media: Internet bullying.
What do you think? How much does social networking boost confidence and friendships?