A Visitor? A Resident? or An Alien?

According to Dave White’s article on Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement proves that it’s not age or generation but a different form of motivation. He comes by saying that people are either ‘Visitors’ or ‘Residents’ of the Internet. But first let us clarify the difference between “Visitors” and “Residents”

vitor and resSource: https://yeepingpang.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/untitled-14.jpg


After reading another article of Marc Prensky’s ‘Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants’, a counter theory to White’s, I believe that we cannot simply categorise the different group of individual on the web by the time of birth. The culture and environment they grew up in do have a significant impact on their web behaviour but not all people of the same generation belong to a specific group. They do not behave the same way too. Hence, I’ll have to agree more towards White’s theory.

On the other hand, I can only agree with White’s theory to a certain extend. He categorised people as Visitors or Residents, but what about the people who completely don’t use the Internet? They may have devices such as a smartphones or laptops, but these people might not even use the functions that help them to be connected to the web. For example, an accounting employee in XYZ Company, her everyday life is to plug in the endless figures and save it in Microsoft Excel. Her manager will then have the access link to her computer to open up the files. Thus, she doesn’t even have to access the Internet for the whole time in the office. When she’s home, she only have time to watch the TV with her kids and do some housework. Who is she then? A Visitor? A Resident? Or an “Alien”?



Yes, most people I know own a smartphone and connect themselves actively online. But there are some whom are either disinterested or due to the lack of ability, do not have any devices to connect themselves with the web. White has also mentioned that people who fall over their 55’s or people who are uninterested are “Visitors”. But this is also not all true. What about my aunt (in her late 50’s) whom Facebook account has more “likes” and chats than I do? She’s not a “Visitor” but a “Resident” instead. She actively uses Facebook to connect herself with friends and relatives overseas. She even has an Instagram account to upload her everyday pictures.



In my opinion, I think that Visitors and Residents are very relatable to today’s web life and best represent the group of people living on the web. But there are still gaps to people today, such as those who are completely disinterested in the Internet. Although the Internet enables us to gain a lot and helps us make our life easier, some still don’t trust it. Resulting in them not using it as often, or worst, being an “Alien”.



All in all, technology, the Internet and the web will always be individual to the user.

Are you a resident or a visitor? (eLearning Stuff)

Being There (‘SocialTech’)

Digital immigrants and Digital Natives Vs. Visitors and Residents (charlotte1999)

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants – Marc Prensky(2001)

Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants (The Huffington Post)
By: DeGraff, Jeff.

TALL blog (TALL blog RSS)

TALL blog (TALL blog RSS)

Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement | White | First Monday (Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement | White | First Monday)


8 thoughts on “A Visitor? A Resident? or An Alien?

  1. Hi Siew Woon,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I like how you shared your personal insights about where does the people who completely do not use the Internet belongs to. It really made me pondered on that question.

    I totally agree that the culture and environment plays a part in peoples’ web behaviour and not all people of the same generation belong to a specific group. I also love how you include images and gifs which made your post even more interesting. As a reader, I felt that it effectively helped conveyed the information you were attempting to put across, and it was done in a reachable and engaging language.

    All in all, it was a good read. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Siew Woon!

    Nice reading your post on topic 1 and totally agreed on the points you made. For example, the degree of using the web based on the culture and environment the person grew up in. I know some cases that people in developing countries are learning to be an IT professional and end up being really good at it whereas there are still people that does not know how to use the web in well-developed countries.

    In addition, I agreed that there are still gaps for the White’s theory as some of the aspect of using the web is not covered. For example, to those that does not have the ability to access the internet and the efficiency of using the web like to what degree we can judge that the visitor and resident is fully utilizing the internet.

    In summary,I enjoyed reading your insight for this topic! 

    Liked by 1 person

    Thanks for providing such an interesting and informative insight for this topic!

    I do agree with you that we should not be so quick to judge an individual based on their age and group them into categories such as a resident or a visitor. In this day and age where technology is so advanced and accessible it is no surprise that many people aged 50 and above are digital residents.

    It is also no surprise that they will have more comments and likes as compared to the younger digital residents. In addition in this technological era, many of us will be highly reliant on social media and the Internet to help us “get though” our daily lives. Hence is it undeniable that we many of us would be a digital resident regardless of our age.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Siew Woon,
    Your post is definitely an interesting read! And a really good point made about the “Aliens”. I haven’t thought about it that way and I do agree with you that yes there are gaps in White’s theory that does not cover people who are disinterested in the internet.
    I do agree with you as well regarding Prensky’s theory of digital natives and immigrants that we cannot simply categorize people according to the era they were born in and that their culture and environment has a significant impact.
    We cannot simply judge individual’s usage of the web by their age, culture or even by their technology advancement in the country because to each their own.

    Really a good read! (^.^)v

    Liked by 1 person

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