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”
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)