“VISITOR” or “RESIDENT” – Topic 1

Living in this day and age, technology has advanced so far that communication with my lecturers is just a click away. Can you imagine that about 50 years ago, people didn’t even know what a computer was?

. . .

– Which one are you?


According to Marc Prensky (2001), there is a distinction between two types of people in today’s digital age, they are called “digital natives” or “digital immigrants”. He argued that “digital natives” are those who grew up in a digital world and are experts when it comes to technology while the “digital immigrants” often consisted of the older generation who lack the skills and knowledge in technology.

images (8)

. . .

– Critique –

The concept by Marc Prensky soon received much criticism as it goes to suggest that age is the pre-dominant factor which has an impact on the technological skills a person possess and thus, overlooking socio-economic and cultural factors. (Bennet, et al. 2008) Margaryan and Littlejohn (2008) also commented that there are also youths who are not technologically inclined despite them born in the digital age.

With this, it introduced a new concept which takes a look at visitors and residents as a simpler way to describe the many ways on how individuals engage with the internet.

. . .

– Visitors & Residents –

According to White (2008), a digital visitor is someone who has a goal in mind and is focused on what they wish to accomplish once they go online. They find what they need, do what they need to do and they are done. They use the web as a tool for information gathering and do not leave any form of trace behind.

A digital resident on the other hand, can be related to as someone who “lives” a part of their life in the “spaces” that are available all around the web. These “spaces” can include posting a picture of themselves on facebook or commenting on a blog post. So even when they logout from the web, they have left some form of trace behind.

In the following video, White (2013) will talk more about Digital Mapping to understand more in-depth on what digital visitors and residents are all about. Enjoy! 🙂

After looking at the video about Digital Mapping, i find it relatable to some of the tools which i use online and have come up with my own mapping.


The continuum of “personal” and “institutional” links to how we have different uses for let’s say social media. For example, i’m currently using wordpress for the module, MANG2049. I personally find myself to be more of a “digital resident” and considering that i play online games, i do leave some “traces” behind on the web.



Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. From On the Horizon (MCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5, October 2001)

White, D. (2008). Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’. Tall blog, University of Oxford.

White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).

White, D. (2013) Just the Mapping. Youtube


4 thoughts on ““VISITOR” or “RESIDENT” – Topic 1

  1. Hey Kai Yuan, you have a very clear and precise concept of digital residents and visitors. With the help of the video on the mapping for the concept, I have had a better understanding to the topic as compared to before.
    I like the digital mapping that you have done on your own in describing the uses of the wordpress blog for this module and your own experience. It is extremely helpful to do it in relation to the digital mapping which was featured in the video on your post. It would definitely benefit all your readers in understanding how you have related your personal experience to the relevant.
    Above that, I would like to compliment on how you relate the use of the internet, to the method used as a mean of communication with our lecturers in the UK! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kai Yuan! Thanks for sharing that video with us!

    The video that you shared about the digital mapping has helped me understand and see a different perspective of what digital visitors and residents are about. It has definitely taught me to better classify myself between the visitor and resident roles.

    You mentioned yourself being more of a “digital resident” from your online gaming activity, maybe you may want to include on your experiences of being a “digital visitor” and why you feel you’re more of a “resident” over “visitor”.

    From my own perspective, I do believe that most of us tend to switch the roles between a “resident” and “visitor” to serve different purposes at certain point of our lives, which certainly made it hard for most of us to decide which one we really are.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Kai Yuan !

    i enjoyed reading your post and at the same time share the same perspective as you ! i agree with your stand and point of view . Your post gave me an insight on the two distinction in current digital age (which i didn’t state in my post) , a better understanding on the concept .

    The critique part stating the theory on the distinction of the two digital concepts , I share the same thoughts as you , do you think there might be other possible factor(s) that might affect the dominant factor , maybe demography factor ? Your post got me thinking more on what are the other factors .

    i like the idea of you putting a video to help me understand the concepts better and the gifs that makes the post less essay-like , a more interesting read .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Kai Yuan!

    I really enjoyed reading your post as it was short and sweet. The way you structured your points was very clear and easy to follow. The videos and pictures interjected throughout your post helped to hold my attention and keep me interested! This is something that i need to take pointers for. 🙂

    Your insight on digital mapping was particularly useful in helping me to understand the differences between digital visitors and residents better and allow me to classify myself in my own map as well. I did not include this insight in my post, but my engagement with the internet is very much like yours! Using social media as an example made the insight more relevant and easy to understand.

    I believe that is it difficult to classify anyone purely on either end of the spectrum so digital mapping helped to make the classification more specific and accurate.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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