Topic 1: Digital “Visitors” and Digital “Residents”

A: Do you post a video on your recipe of chocolate chip cookies?
B: Do you go online to find the recipe for the chocolate chip cookies?

A: Do you write your reviews on blogs/forum whenever you have a meal at a cafe?
B: Do you go online to check the operating hours/location of the cafe?

If you relate more to ‘A’ you are mostly a digital ‘residents’. If you relate more to ‘B’ you are mostly a digital ‘visitors’. So what exactly is digital resident or digital visitors?!

A digital ‘residents’ is where people spend a large amount of time online. They have the sense of belonging online; they have a social presence too. For example, first thing in the morning, once their eyes are open instead of reaching out for a toothbrush, they will reach out for their phones to check their social media accounts.


A digital ‘visitors’ are people who only use the Internet when they need to. But they will avoid having any social presence if possible.

Dave White created the terms “digital resident and visitors” where he states that the categorization is by the motive or behavior of the users. While Marc Prensky created the terms “digital natives and immigrants”, he groups users by time of birth.

I agree that upbringing will effect on our Internet presence. But doesn’t mean the same generation should be group together, a 50 years old will still know how to comment on Facebook or post a picture on Instagram. And sometimes even an adult will be more experience in the digital technology world then a teenager. Sometimes doesn’t mean updating social media accounts means that you are an expert in digital technology because there are more opportunities in the digital world then just posting a picture of your food.

For example, my mum she’s a vivid user of Facebook, whatever photos she takes when she’s in overseas she will share it with all her friends though Facebook. While my dad, which is the same age as my mum doesn’t believes in any social presence. He feels photo should be printed, sharing should be face to face. Seeing that both of them are the same generation but it’s clear that my mum is a resident while my dad is a visitor. An example like that shows that there is no right or wrong being either a resident or visitor, everyone will have their own views on the type of sharing, the type of communicating even the type of making business.

With that I end my thought of digital resident and visitors. Do post a comment if you agree or disagree on this topic (:


White, D. S. and Cornu. A. Le (2011) Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement, at, accessed 30 October 2015

Marc Prensky, 2009. “H. sapiens digital: From digital immigrants and digital natives to digital wisdom,” Innovate, volume 5, number 3, at, accessed 30 October 2015

10 thoughts on “Topic 1: Digital “Visitors” and Digital “Residents”

  1. yeejoey says:

    What an interesting read Jue Yin. I especially like the points about the terms on digital ‘native’ and digital ‘immigrants’. I also agree that those terms are inaccurate and growing irrelevant. How could we judge someone base on his or her time of birth right? In fact, sometimes I will also go to my dad for help on stuff relating to IT because he is better than me at me. The terminologies are definitely inaccurate our terms. As long as we are willing to learn, age is nothing but a number. Thus, the new terms are better for categorizing Internet users.
    Overall, I think it is an insightful read. However, I think to make this post complete, you could elaborate more on digital “residence” and digital “visitors”. You could give an example for each term or share your own personal experience.
    I look forward to your next post ☺

    Joey Yee


  2. silvianasutanto says:

    Hi Tjueyin, i really like your opening in your blogpost. It’s refreshing and motivates me to find out more on your thought.
    Basically we share the same idea of visitors and residents. I agree we can’t define the level of engagement just by looking at age. Same like your point, my mother which is more or less in the same age with my father is more engage to social media and internet compared to my father. The way they approach digital world depends on each individual’s culture and motivation. It would be great if you can share how you approach different platforms based on your culture and motivation.
    Nonetheless, you have done a great post and give me more example in real life. Looking forward for your next post 🙂 🙂


    • tjueyin says:

      Thanks you for commenting! Like your post on visitor and resident too, especially when you said not all platforms are designed equally. Thank you for your advise, will take note! Have a great day 🙂


  3. Patrick Wong says:

    Good Afternoon Jue Yin,

    How are you enjoying the module #MANG2049 so far? 🙂

    I certainly do agree that upbringing is a factor which we may look into, some of our classmates had been thinking out of the box to identify and express their views on what is the underlying reason or motivation that causes a specific individual to shift along the continuum of being a resident or visitor.

    There was this young boy whom I had engaged a conversation with recently. Apparently, the parents have been very open with the idea of letting the child being exposed to technology. I was surprised that he is even capable of hosting a gaming server on his own at the mere age of 10!

    His upbringing had resulted in him incorporating internet as a part of his lifestyle and a resident, which justifies your point even further! Do you think there are any more possible factors which plays a part influencing the continuum of digital resident or visitor? Peace!


    • tjueyin says:

      Hi Patrick! Thank you for commenting 🙂
      Been loving this module so far, learning not only from the lecturers but friends!
      Wow, such an incredible teen to have a gaming server at such an young age. I do agree that there are other factors that plays apart, like the social circle they mix with will also influence them as well.
      Thanks for you comment and have a great day. Cheers! 🙂


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