The concepts of digital visitors and residents was born after criticism of Prensky’s ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’. His age related hypothesis separated the youth as natives, due to being born into the digital world and categorised the older generation as immigrants, implying they need to adapt to the digital world and will never grasp the digital experience like natives have (Prensky, 2001). However his age separation of the online experience has faded, with the older generation being equally as skilful online.
Digital visitors are individuals who use online services whenever the need arises. This could be purchasing tickets to a concert or booking a holiday (White, 2008). They don’t have an active presence online like a digital resident does. Despite not using the web regularly like a resident does, digital visitors may be equally as effective when using an internet service, even spending more time using a tool than a resident regularly does.
Although the recent rise of social media outlets have led to young online celebrities- YouTubers for example, the distinction of age between visitors and residents has become increasingly blurred. Older internet users are not always digital visitors, as this age group are establishing businesses online, thus making them a resident. Moreover, in establishing third world countries, the overwhelming majority of the youth are digital visitors, however this is a temporary transition phase.
In addition to the common uses of the web, for example gathering information and shopping, digital residents refers to individuals who have an active online persona, playing an important part of their lifestyle (White, 2008). As internet usage has spread globally, digital residents have been booming, from vlogging and gaming YouTubers- PewDiePie, to lifestyle Instagram sensations- Emitaz. YouTubers read and respond to comments when making their videos, as they cater these to what the audience want.
Furthermore, digital residents use the web for their businesses which they promote online, a relative being an example with her fashion clothing business. Residents not only use the web to express their professional profiles- LinkedIn, but also use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to maintain friendship circles as global migration has increased. I fall into this category of digital resident, as I use Facebook to keep in contact with friends in the USA.
Also, we are digital residents in UOSM2033, as we are constantly engaging in online discussions and learning about digital literacy from internet sources.
Quick summary of Topic 1:
Sources used (hyperlinks included):
Prensky (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, MCB University Press, Volume 9 (5). Available from: <http://www.museumsandtheweb.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf>. [Accessed 14 October 2016].
White, D .S. (2008) Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’, but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’ Available from: <http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/>. [Accessed 14 October 2016].
White, D.S., & Cornu, A.L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, Volume 16 (9). Available from: <http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3171/3049>. [Accessed 14 October 2016].