Digital Residents and Digital Visitors : a reflection

As the first week of Living and Working on the Web draws to a close, it is time to reflect on the first thought-provoking topic of Digital Residents and Digital Visitors – the two terms following Marc Prensky’s initial offering of Digital Natives and Immigrants.

Prior to the #UOSM2033 module, the Natives/Immigrants / Residents/Visitors debate was one which I had never actually heard of, yet I have found researching and reading around this topic to be really interesting and pertinent to how I perceive our modern society and our varying usage of the Internet.

I was intrigued to read about the shift from Prenksy’s initially well-received typology of Natives and Immigrants to what White and Le Cornu and many others have deemed Residents and Visitors, and after reading the criterion for both and the fact that age is not a factor for resident/visitor status, I am in complete agreement with this second typology. I have also been fascinated by the issue of a continuum between the status of Resident and Visitor and have found that on reflecting on my own online behaviour, I am in fact a perfect example of this shifting status between the two.

My knowledge of this topic has also been very much extended thanks to reading the extensive and extremely interesting posts that my course mates have posted on the subject.

Anna’s blog post with its very helpful diagram of the continuum between Residents and Visitors was very clear and easy to understand and really consolidated my knowledge of the subject and I liked the inclusion of the embedded video from David White on the issue. The blog post (and Anna’s comment on my blog) also raised the issue on whether one can be successful in both their personal and professional lives on the web to which I answered that yes, one can be successful in both, if one adapts the content and ideas they express to be suitable for the target audience.

Sophie’s post was also very interesting and she used personal examples to clarify what exactly is meant by a Resident and a Visitor. My only comments on this post were the fact that she did not mention that the Resident/Visitor continuum and that one can shift between the two modes of web user. In return, she asked me an interesting question on whether one can ever truly be a complete Digital Resident to which I replied.

I also looked at Deepbim’s blog and enjoyed its concise and personal style and was impressed by his attention grabbing opening sentence – ‘If you are reading this blog then you are more likely to be a Digital Resident rather than Digital Visitor. You maybe a fellow student reading this with Facebook open in another tab.’ For me, this was really effective and I have taken on board the importance of a hooking opener for a blog post.

All in all, I really enjoyed researching this topic and writing my own thoughts. The comments I received from others were invaluable and also reading their perspectives on the same issue was of great interest to me.

Roll on the next topic!

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