Topic 1 – ‘Digital Visitors’ vs ‘Digital Residents’

The modern digital age has shaped individuals, young or old, to be proficient in technology. Prensky’s framework generalized the older generation who were less exposed to technology as ‘digital immigrants’ while ‘digital natives’ were used to label the younger generation who grew up with technology.

While it seems to be a trend that the older generation is slowly but surely getting the hang of using the web, White developed the ‘Visitors and Residents’ model to show a more progressive relationship and counter the misconception of ‘Natives and Immigrants’.

So how do we categorize individuals as a ‘digital resident’ or a ‘digital visitor’?


(Credit: Visitors and Residents continuum, White and Le Cornu, 2011)

‘Digital residents’ are individuals who have incorporated the online world not just for practical usage but also for expressing their personalities and socializing with others. The traits of digital residency can be commonly found in bloggers where they constantly maintain strong virtual connections with their readers, and eventually make a career out of it.

‘Digital visitors’ on the other hand are not bothered to make their presence known in the digital world. The internet is simply used as a tool to assist them in specific tasks and once their objectives are met, they will log off from the web.

As I am drafting this post, I turned to my dad and this was what I saw…..

image1He finally sees the importance of being slightly more tech-savvy. It was not only until in recent years that he got himself a mobile phone. I vividly remember him telling me that he never needs a smart phone. In this digital era, I suppose my dad was “forced” to leave being a ‘digital visitor’. He used to monitor his shares through teletext which are extinct. Now, he monitors live telecast of shares through websites of stock exchange companies. The social environment encourages the use of technology by having their products and services digitalised.

In my opinion, no one can solely be a ‘visitor’ or a ‘resident’ for it is a continuum. I am unsure myself as the scale is skewed towards both ends of the spectrum when I engage the web for different purposes. Taking for example, I am a ‘visitor’ when I solely go online to read up on the latest news happenings in the world. The scale is then instantly skewed when I participate in online conversations which portray the characteristics of a ‘resident’.  Regardless, I think it is important to strike a balance between the two and continue to engage in physical interactions.

Which one are you? Or are you just as confused as I am? Leave me your comments in the comment box below!

(436 words)


White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. (Accessed on 03/11/2016)


6 thoughts on “Topic 1 – ‘Digital Visitors’ vs ‘Digital Residents’

  1. Hey Klarissa!! You are not alone in being confused about your online identity hahaha I am as confused as you are!
    What rang a bell for me in your post was the mention of your Dad’s change in how he monitors his shares today. Quite frankly, when I was giving my own views about this topic, my mind kept skewing over to the use of social media among online users or Googling for information, but you reminded me that the use of Internet is much more than that.
    Like your dad, my dad has also switched over from Teletext to the web to monitor his shares. Your post reinforced the idea that whether someone is a “visitor” or “resident” is largely dependent on the environment we are in. Like in the case of Teletext, our fathers were made to switch over to the web because of the unavoidable change in the technological environment.
    This is of course, only a small part of their digital lives. With so much interaction with the internet nowadays (that we ourselves do not realize sometimes), it is really no wonder many are having a digital identity crisis like us hahaha help!

    Great post by the way 😀 Seeeee youuuuuu sooooooooooon!


    1. Hey Teresa thanks for the comment! 😀
      I honestly wouldn’t know what Teletext is if not for my dad. I suppose it’s the same for you! If there was a choice, I believe he would still choose to live in a cave and never want to be part of this digital world. So I completely agree with you that this change is unavoidable. Well, I doubt we will ever find our digital identity soon. Let’s just leave it to the advancement in technology to decide for us hahaha!

      Catch up with you soon!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Hi Klarissa, great post you have written. (I may have slightly laughed at your sneaky move on taking a picture of your dad)

    However on a more serious note, I totally agree with you that the social environment we are living in forces us to alter our use of technology. I do recall my own father always checking on Teletext when I was young (such an annoyance when your shows are interrupted) but nowadays, he checks everything through the use of mobile applications.

    I would consider myself to be both a visitor and resident, and yes, it is important to strike a balance – Building our lives around the digital world could possibly cause us to lose real-life interaction skills, and going on the internet only when we need do so also somehow leads to us missing out, considering the speed of technological evolution!

    (143 words)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lelia, thank you for your input and compliments 🙂 Oh yes it sure was annoying whenever my dad switches to another page on teletext haha! Have you ever wondered if one day everyone ends up being ‘residents’? There will be no physical interactions as people will be communicating through the use of technology, which is scary… Anyway, great to know there’s someone who is also on the fence! Shall check out your posts in the coming weeks 🙂


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