Who are you in the virtual world? Digital Visitors,Residents or maybe even both?

I find the concept of digital “visitors” and “residents” very interesting after reading a few articles on it. It got me thinking of who I am when I’m on the web.

First of all, let me give a explanation of the concept behind digital “visitors” and “resident”.This concept is actually derived from the Prensky’s typologies on digital natives and immigrants.For Prensky’s typologies is very much based on how web savvy a person is based on their age.People that born with technology in their life which is the digital native are much more savvy as compared to those digital immigrants which they just started learning this new way of  finding information and interacting with others.

Once the concept is out, it causes much critique on the validity of this concept. People feels that older people can be technical as compared to those that are younger so a new approach of this theory is created which is the concept of digital “visitors” and “resident”.

Digital visitors is perceived as those that has a goal in mind when going onto the web. For example,their purpose is to find information about nice restaurants to visit in their area. Once they got the information they need, they will log off from the internet.There are not much interaction with others and no online identity being created in the process.

For digital resident, they are a lot more active in creating an online identity as well as more kin to interact and express their feeling with others. They treat the different social media platform as a space for them to network and establish their own image through posting of images and status.

However,the interesting part is that people are not being label as only digital visitor or residents as they can be both based on their objective in visiting the web.Take me for example,I can take the visitor approach when I am searching for valid information for my report and once I got the information I needed,I’ll log off from the web.I can take a resident approach for my private life where I’ll post pictures on Instagram about things that I like and comment on post about topics that interest me.

In conclusion,the concept of digital visitor and resident is based on how people portray themselves online.Both approaches can be efficient or inefficient based on the way how people use the web.

(396 words)


(@daveowhite), D. (2015). TALL blog » Blog Archive » Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’. Tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 30 October 2015, from http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/

First Monday,. (2015). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. Retrieved 30 October 2015, from http://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049%20https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~tefko/Courses/Zadar/Readings/Selwyn%20dig%20natives,%20Aslib%20Proceedings%202009.pdf

Digital – Learning – Culture,. (2014). Visitors & Residents. Retrieved 30 October 2015, from http://daveowhite.com/vandr/


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