(Virtual) Social Capital

Last week I had my brother come and share to my community health seminar his experience of being kicked out of the home at 16 and finding himself homeless.  He spoke to some key points, such as that the vast majority of youth identify violence in the home as their reason for homelessness.  He talked about prevention, and points of intervention before youth turn to negative coping mechanisms.

Yesterday, this post took off on reddit.com.  Reddit is a link aggregator website, but because of its robust commenting sections, also becomes a sort of virtual community.  In the post, a 17 year old says that he is going to be kicked out, and asks for advice.  People respond with a ton of suggestions, and the best get voted to the top.

Interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened on Reddit, and I’m sure countless other websites.  People are turning to virtual communities for support and advice, and in a lot of cases it is working well.  This reflects social capital, and the fact that virtual social capital can be as valuable as actually having a diverse and well resourced circle of physical friends.  In my mind, this provides more support for our project proposal to explore the true value of information communication technologies for people experiencing homelessness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *