On the Internet, Everyone Can Find a Home, Including the Homeless

A recent study reveals that the homeless use social networking just like everyone else, and that it helps them gain an increased sense of belonging to the wider community.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What’s the Latest Development?

A University of Dayton study indicates that the homeless use Facebook and other social networking sites for the same reasons everyone else does: to stay in touch with people, to find answers to questions and problems, and to be part of a greater community. Sociologist Art Jipson got the idea for the project when a caller to his campus radio show disclosed that he was homeless but had a cell phone. Further interviews with the caller and other local homeless revealed that many of them used cell phones to check and write messages on social media sites. Most had 100 or more Facebook friends.

What’s the Big Idea?

The concept of the Internet as an open society isn’t new, but the prevalence of technology – in this case, affordable cell phones – has helped to make it truly egalitarian. In addition to the practical reasons given for their use of social media sites, the people interviewed for the study said that the sites can serve as a safe, judgement-free zone. According to Jipson, “[O]n Facebook, the ‘least of our brothers,’ as it says in the Bible, have equal access…and establish a sense of belonging that is based on more than possessions.” One interviewee put it very plainly: “No one on the ‘net cares if I didn’t get a shower yesterday or smell some…I feel accepted. I am accepted.”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

How getting in sync with your partner can lead to increased intimacy and sexual desire

Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.

Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
  • The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
  • Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Keep reading Show less

How humans evolved to live in the cold

Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
  • Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Keep reading Show less

Stan Lee, Marvel co-creator, is dead at 95

The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.

(Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
  • Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
  • Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
Keep reading Show less