Homeless People Use Facebook Just Like You and Me

Illustration for article titled Homeless People Use Facebook Just Like You and Me

The Atlantic is reporting some pretty fascinating findings from a study on Internet usage patterns in homeless vs. non-homeless youth out of the University of Alabama. Apparently, for 75% of the youth surveyed, not even homelessness if a big enough impediment to getting at least an hour a day of Facebook or Twitter time.

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Rosanna Guadagno, who led the university study, surveyed 237 college students and 67 homeless youth—all just a bit of 19-years-old, on average. "Since it is clear that the proportions of undergraduates and homeless young adults accessing social networking sites are similar, we assert that the term digital divide is not descriptive of the young adult population," the study concluded.

There is literally nothing that will keep the kids off that dang Facebook. (Though, ughh, a homeless youth's status updates must be pretty bleak. Right?) [TheAtlantic]

Image via Olly/Shutterstock

DISCUSSION

I don't know about a homeless youth (I'm 35), but I can tell you that my Facebook is public (/MysteryShipRadio), I post frequently despite being homeless (between electrical outlets at the shelter, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and the fact that, at least in Boston, "homeless" doesn't mean "completely broke", so I'm able to keep my cell phone on and tether with it if all else fails), and my posts vary between bleak (which is life sometimes) and stupidly optimistic (you've heard the phrase "one job loss away from being homeless?" The corollary is "one good interview away from being NOT homeless". Glass half full.)

Sorry for what might seem like self-promotion, but if you really want to know what a homeless person's status updates look like, I invite you to look at mine.

Also, great job of alienating the homeless with that "Just Like You And Me" crap. You've defined people like me as "other" and "alien" and dehumanized us. First World problems...