The modern digital age bestows upon us countless of blessings, from shrinking the world into a few clicks, allowing me to communicate with attractive girls from different continents easily (#blessed), and providing information so vast that anyone could learn about anything literally anywhere with an internet connection. The line between the internet as a tool and a place is increasingly blurred, and I will discuss my take on the concept of digital “visitors” and “residents”.
My life pretty much revolves around the web. You’re now probably reading this post on my blog online, and here you can already see how I’ve used an online social platform to express my opinions on a matter. As a graphic designer, my most significant use of the internet is regularly spending time on sites such as Behance, Dribbble, and Freelancer, to view the works of other designers from all over the world and communicate with like-minded people, sometimes earning myself a client/job in the process, as well as to post my works online as a self-branding tool. Running an online website myself, the internet is where I sell myself, and also the place that I go for acquiring something I need. I am a digital resident; the internet is where my digital presence resides, and where I form relationships with others and widen my network. (White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L., 2011)
My mother on the other hand, lives her happily retired life as a social butterfly. Her typical daily routine involves spending time together with friends or sisters shopping or having a meal together outside. With her closest of friends meeting up with her frequently, my mother doesn’t have an active Facebook profile or Instagram account that is constantly updated; her presence is more evident IRL than on URLs. Whenever she requires something such as finding recipes, looking for information of retail outlets, or booking flight tickets, the internet is her go-to place. Her phone has apps that cater to her needs right at her fingertips, and thankfully as a tech-savvy person, she doesn’t bother me with questions (giggles). My mother is therefore a digital visitor; using the web as a tool to achieve certain goals, and not as a member of the web. (White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L., 2011)
Having read some academic writings that reciprocates my own understanding of this topic, I firmly support the argument that the dichotomy of digital natives and digital immigrants are out of date, and that categorizing us as digital residents or digital immigrants is a more accurate approach, appropriate when considering which technologies to provide for online learners in an educational context.
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White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9)