Digital Users?

As D White and A Le Cornu once said; The resident is an individual who lives a percentage of their life online.  The Visitor is an individual who uses the web as a tool in an organised manner whenever the need arises. [1]

Having grown up through the ‘Dot Com Bubble’ I remember my Primary School days being taught an array of topics about the dangers of online communities to learning how to send an email. It is because of these lessons that I have moved out of the ‘visitor’ stereotype and I can confidently call myself a ‘resident’.

Without IT classes I can confidently say that I would not be as proficient using the Web as I am now. And hence despite living in this Technological revolution, more than 1 in 10 children aged 16 or under do not have access to the internet. [2] Thus despite being in this Technological boom Visitors exist where there should be Residents. I am sure that the opposite is true.

Having taken a year out of study, I spent a year working at a major Tech firm: IBM. I was amazed to discover both young and old working in the same environment. Upon further research I found that not only had internet research increased for all age groups but the biggest increase was found in the 65+ population (from 9% in 2006 to 37% in 2013) [3] . Hence digital residents living amongst visitors is also true.

This has led me to believe that perhaps 10 years ago the existence of Digital Visitors and Residents may have once existed. But in a World where computer use is growing ever more important residents and visitors are amalgamating into one; Digital ‘Users’.


[1] Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement by David S. White and Alison Le Cornu. First Monday, Volume 16, Number 9 – 5 September 2011.

[2] BBC Article: A third of poorest pupils ‘without internet at home’ by J Burns.

[3] Office of National Statistics: ‘Internet Access – Households and Induviduals’ Page 3

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