Digital: Are you visiting or residing?

In this 21st century, technology has become a norm for almost everyone. When you go out on the streets, majority of the public could be spotted holding a smartphone that allows them to connect to the digital easily. If you step into Starbucks or other cafes, you can spot many people busily tapping away on their laptops.

There is actually two different category that groups the different types of people who uses technology. Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants. Digital natives are people like me. We grew up living with technology all around us, using it on a daily basis. We are used to the use of digital technology and are also pretty much dependent on it. Digital immigrants are mostly people who are much older and also lived before technology was an essential part of our daily life and routine. Like the word immigrant, they are people who are now adapting to how relevant digitalised everything is in the world, like immigrating to a different world.

There has always been a stereotypical thought on the younger generation being more tech savvy as compared to the older generations. People tend to confuse that being tech savvy would mean being a expert in handling the various social media accounts, however there is more to digital technology than just handling social media accounts and there are many experienced tech savvy adults, probably even better than some of the younger generations.

There’s a new term now, and it’s Digital Visitors and Digital Residents. It describe how involved one is with the digital world, just like the meaning of visiting and residing. An example of a digital visitor would be those who come online to do a simple task like searching for the direction to a certain restaurant before they sign off and carry on with their other offline tasks. As for Digital Residents, would be people who come online and leave traces of themselves digitally be it via posting a tweet, updating their Facebook wall and also blogging. They are those so have a strong presence in the digital world and also spend a good amount of time on the digital world.

Do you spent a lot of your time engaging, building relationship and communicating with people on the web? How often do you check and update your social networking sites? Do you discuss and share your thoughts and view on the web regarding certain topics that you have chanced upon online? Or do you only come online to google simple information, and log off once you have clear your doubts?

These could actually some questions that you could use to identify if you’re a digital visitor or digital resident.

With this blog that I have started for this module, I have very well became a resident myself as I have set up an online profile and with this post that I have discussed the concept of Digital Visitors and Digital Residents, I have also left traces of myself in the web. Looking forward to leaving more traces of myself through this blog and this module.

(512 words)


David White. 2015. Visitor & Resident [ONLINE] Available at: click here. [Accessed 30 October 2015].

Marc Prensky. 2001. Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants [ONLINE] Available at: click here . [Accessed 30 October 2015].

White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. [ONLINE] Available at: click here. [Accessed 30 October 2015].


2 thoughts on “Digital: Are you visiting or residing?

  1. Hi Shannon!

    Totally agree on your point about users will think being tech savvy is how well you monitor social media accounts. Can’t imagine if one day the social media platform shuts down, what will those users actually do with the Internet. I also like how you include examples while elaborating on your definitions; it helps users to understand it better.

    Your point on Digital immigrant adapting to the digitalized world makes me feel that some of them are being forced to do so. So example, bank statements are mostly e-statements now hence customers are required to go online to check on their statements. And also to check up on family and friends, it requires a social media account to look at their pictures or know about their whereabouts as most of the users update their social media more often and quicker then verbally saying their news. Hence it’s difficult to conclude if being a digital visitor or resident is better.

    Looking forward to your next post and do check up my blog for more updates on Living and Working on Web ☺

    – tjueyin (


  2. Hi Shannon!

    With the questions that you have posted, it is useful in helping me identify myself as a Digital “Resident”. I on constantly checking on my social media before I start my day and before I end my day. Like what you said, I am dependent on it too!

    However, in my opinion, I think that it would be a bit too advanced for Digital “Visitors” to be able to know how to use their smartphones to look for directions to their destination. The reason may be because they are not familiar with the technology like how to use it. Therefore, we are always seeing people who are at a older generation, approaching others for directions.

    In conclusion, I really enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading more post from you!


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