Internet and Social Media Use as a Resource Among Homeless Youth


  • Accepted by previous editor Maria Bakardjieva


Little is known about internet and social media use among homeless youth. Consistent with typologies prevalent among housed youth, we found that homeless youth were using internet and social media for entertainment, sociability, and instrumental purposes. Using Haythornwaite's (2001) premise that it is important to look at the types of ties accessed in understanding the impact of new media, we found that homeless youth were predominantly using e-mail to reach out to their parents, caseworkers, and potential employers, while, using social media to communicate with their peers. Using the “Social Capital” perspective, we found that youth who were connecting to maintained or bridging social ties were more likely to look for jobs and housing online than youth who did not.