Who are we in the digital world?


A digital visitor, as the word ‘visits’ suggest, an individual that simply comes and go. They go on the Internet only if they have a need such as searching for certain information on Google. They do not have a long term presence and certainly leave little or no trace online.

As opposed to a Visitor, a Digital Resident ‘lives’ or ‘resides’ on the web. To an extent where a majority of their life is exposed and happening on the web. Whatever they do, it’s more or less related to the web. They have a long term presence and a digital identity of themselves online.

That’s my interpretation of the concept about Digital Visitors & Residents adapted from David S. White.

Personally, I have been moving towards the Resident side on the Visitor and Resident continuum. Technology came into my life when I was a teenager and as I grew to be more comfortable with it, I cannot stop relying on it. In my free time: I catch shows on Youtube, I shop online, I share my thoughts on Twitter, I share images of my life on Instagram, I catch up with people through Facebook Chats/ WhatsApp.

On the Institutional side, I find myself geared towards the Visitor side. I rarely “stay” on the Digital world when I am doing work. The main platforms I visit are Gmail, Google, Google Docs and various database (I.E. ESBCO). I utilize them for communication and research purposes.

Furthermore, I  prefer the above concept by David O White over Prensky’s Natives and Immigrant that is related to age. Because I agree that digital literacy level should not be matched up to age but instead, to how well one puts technology to use and create a significant presence for themselves in the digital world. Those who do not find a need to “stay” in the digital world will find their own ways of living life. I.E Instead of watching shows on Youtube, they simply watch the television.

Older people can also learn and adapt to the digital world. My mum has a Facebook account and she has been greatly utilizing Google these days. She even uses apps to track schedules and create agenda lists. Hence, it’s up to one to decide if they want to be a Resident or a Visitor.

Are you a resident or a visitor? Do comment! 🙂




White, D. (2014). TALL blog » Blog Archive » Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’. [online] Tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk. Available at: http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/ [Accessed 27 Nov. 2014].

White, D. and Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, [online] 16(9). Available at: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3171/3049 [Accessed 27 Nov. 2014].