Individuals have access to internet from all over the world. Some frequent the internet more than other. Everyone may have varied reasons for being on the web, from Social-networking, business, and or even leisure purposes. It is common for people to perceive that a user’s engagement to the digital world is based on generation gap and technological intellect.
However, it may not be the case. It has been argued how the users of internet be reassessed. With the use of Digital ‘Residents’ and ‘Visitors’ model to better understand individual experiences with virtual engagement.
The concept of these two terms are best described as a continuum rather than a conflicting pair.
Residents and Visitors:
‘Do I express my opinion over the internet on a social media platform?’, ‘How much do I interact over the internet?’, ‘Is part of my life shared on the internet?’, and ‘What is my presence on the web?’, this are questions that help and individual understand their engagement with digital technology.
Residents are essentially those that build persona On-line. Having to develop a virtual identity, living a portion of their lives digitally and engaging in content generating of information about personal life, work and even politics or other information they find the need to share.
Whereas, Visitors are the individuals that surf the web solely to accomplish a purpose of using it, eg. Banking, Purchase and Applications. However, these individuals may also have a strong presence in a digital community but generally do not spend their lives upbringing thier persona.
Personally, having used the web for over 10 years, there was a period I found myself immersed in digital networking having the need to constantly be present on social media platforms as a means of socialising and gaining information. Over time, the appetite to have a digital presence shrunk driving me to be more of a digital visitor.
Although being virtually active – through On-line games, leisure applications eg. ‘9gag’, as well as other social media platforms like ‘Facebook’, ‘Reddit’ and ‘Instagram’ – gives me the opportunity to still be connected digitally and voice my opinions, I do not spend too much time dwelling on digital networking as I did previously.
I believe it is necessary to be digitally literate in this day and age, as it is equally important to balance our life on this continuum.