“Digital Visitors”: Individuals who use the Internet as a tool in an organized manner only when the need arises. They always have an appropriate and focused need to use the web but don’t ‘reside’ there.
“Digital Residents”: Individuals who live a percentage of their lives online. The web has become a crucial aspect of how they present themselves and how they remain part of networks of friends or colleagues.
The Resident has a presence online which they are constantly developing while the Visitor logs on, performs a specific task and then logs off. For example, the Resident shares his personal lifestyle and daily activities with his Social Media friends on platforms like Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat but the Visitor just uses the Internet for tasks like booking a flight, hotel or do research for projects and examinations.
Personally, for me, I’m more towards being a “Digital Resident”. Sharing my lifestyle and daily activities have grown to be part of my to-do list. For example, I use Instagram daily and update it at least once a week for 1000+ followers to know about my life since I’m unable to meet up on a regular basis with all of them individually. I also love posting photos and videos real time for my friends to see on Snapchat. At the same time, I will also watch their posts and that is how we catch up with each other in a more efficient manner. I feel that sustaining digital profiles is inevitable in this time era. Those that do not keep up with it will be left behind. There are also many rewards and benefits available on Social Media and many potential job offerings are also posted there so those that are not frequent users and Digital Residents might just miss the golden opportunities.
However, I have many friends who are more inclined towards being a “Digital Visitor”. Social Media is not their priority and they only use the Internet for accomplishing tasks like school projects and research. These are the people that feel that offline interaction is more meaningful and satisfying as compared to online interaction.
In conclusion, I feel that both roles have their own advantages and disadvantages. Being a “Digital Resident” is beneficial but one has to make sure not to get addicted to it. When you are out with your family and friends, live the moment to the fullest.
Yours Truly, Tan Yi Yang (Jef)
White, D. (2008, July 23). Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’. Retrieved from http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/