Being Digitally Savvy.

The idea of Digital Visitors and Digital Residents is a concept, which until recently I was unfamiliar. It places each individual on a scale from a “visitor” to a “resident” (White & Cornu, 2011). A “visitor” is described as someone who is unlikely to have an online profile where they post about their lives and often don’t become involved in social networking as they often believe there needs to be a benefit from using technology. On the opposite end of the spectrum are “residents” who view the Web as a community that they are a part of. They are often happy where “visitors” wouldn’t be to express themselves online and often have some sort of identity that is created online through social media, blog posts and comments. It is possible in this framework of visitor or resident to be somewhere in the middle, perhaps closer to one end of the scale than the other. This framework doesn’t close people into two different groups where theories in the past have.

Until a few years ago I would have been described as a “visitor.” I didn’t have any social media set up, as I didn’t see much point in it. I could phone or talk to my friends and family so why did I need Facebook or Twitter to tell me what’s going on in their lives? After many questions about my views on social media from my friends and family I set up a Facebook profile. This was when I started to see the advantages of digital media. It became easier for me to talk to friends and family in other countries, it was always reliable and up to me on how much I wanted the world to see of my profile. I became a lot more involve in what was going on through group pages and online chats and once starting university I found that people who I met shared mutual friends with me despite not having gone to the same school/university or live in the same area. I also benefitted from news and articles that people had read which they posted online that widened my views on various subjects and meant that I was learning on a space that I had once believed not possible and also on a space where I had not placed learning as an intention.

Having now become more involved in social media as part of my university course work I am already seeing the benefits of the Web for not only looking up certain subjects online but also getting a perspective from others through social media. This form of working together online and collaborating on ideas is very beneficial for learning and demonstrates how technology can enhance education and an individuals learning intentions when they go online.

Being digitally savvy in the 21st century is something which is important because of the lack of escape from technology that many people are now involved in as Erik Qualman stated “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media. The choice is how well we do it.” Part of learning online includes learning how not to be overloaded with information that is available but also to focus your attention on what is important and significant from what is accessible. This is not only important in education but also in business and social life. The Web is an integral part of our society today and whether we like it or not “Future of the culture depends on how well we learn to use the media” (Rheingold, 2012).

Qualman, E. (Erik Qualman). (2014, April 16). #Socialnomics 2014 by Erik Qualman (Video file) Retrieved from
Rheingold, H. (2012). Introduction: Why You Need Digital Know-How—Why We All Need It. In Net smart: how to thrive online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).



  1. eveh1993 · October 14, 2014

    I like the way you have written this blog. I think you have clearly made the points of what visitors and residents are in a brief way that that is easy to understand. However, I think it would also be interesting to hear a bit about the other past theories you mentioned to be able to make comparisons.
    I enjoyed your explanation of how your experiences with social media progressed as well as how you highlighted the benefits of it that often get less recognition than they probably should, like the use of news articles.
    I think the quote you have included from Erik Qualman is very true and the concluding paragraph really summarises well the impact of technology in society today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. stephanienicoleshields · October 14, 2014

    This is a really interesting blog, I like how you have used your own experiences of using technology to highlight different key points in your text. Would you still consider yourself as a digital ‘visitor’ or would you regard yourself as a digital ‘resident’ now that you use the internet and different methods of technology to do everyday things such as talk to friends and check uni work?

    I also like your use of quotes to help us understand how to learn to use digital media in the proper way, I also think it is important to be educated on different aspects of using technology and what information we receive will benefit us. I feel that society is fast changing and it is important for us all to learn more about the web. It provides us with useful information and provides us with great advantages such as; finding key information, communicating and keeping up to date with the latest things.

    Your blog post in very engaging and I would agree that some time ago I would have questioned whether using social media sites were of benefit to me, I think with the right safety procedures we can take advantages of social media can be useful in terms of keeping up to date with what is happening around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • es1ko · October 14, 2014

      I feel that I am neither a digital resident or a digital visitor. Although I certainly use technology a great deal more than I did before and for many different reasons such as research, social media and education I feel that I would lie somewhere in the middle of the scale, perhaps closer to the side of digiatl resident because I still don’t really project a digital version of myself onto social media but do vary what I use the internet for.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s