The concept of digital “Visitors” and “Residents” have been explained in different ways in different academic papers. What I aim to do is to put this into practical examples by taking two different individuals that live different lifestyles to distinguish between these terms.
Casey Neistat an influential “Youtuber” and one of the founders of the social media network Beme built a career on the internet with the help of different tools that is available. He maintains an online identity that has garnered a significant audience. The message that he put out that is interpreted by many of his audience is that “Doing more and not being comfortable in one achievement in life will lead to many great things” This persona is greatly shown through his series of daily short videos and the different social media outlets that he uses. For instance his Instagram account shows a lot about his day to day travels to different places and in his videos he talks a lot about his day to day work and shows a series of significant events a meetings that he attends. Therefore, this makes Casey Neistat a digital resident. He has taken full advantage of the internet in his social, professional life and “branded” himself as an inspirational individual.
My parents on the other hand only use the internet when it is only required for them to do so. One of the main reasons they utilize the tools available online would be to keep in contact with family and me since I am studying in another country. Other than that the internet is a place for them to be updated about the current affairs and news. They are not worried about the persona online and do not it a priority to update their social media. This would therefore make them digital Visitors.
Digital Visitors cannot be classified by age but by lifestyle. Depending on the type of lifestyle that you live the amount of dependency on the internet would differ. A retiree would tend to use the internet a little less compared to a student since the lifestyle these two individuals follow different ways of life and uses the internet for different purposes. A student may use it to keep in touch with their friends and for entertainment at the same time for studies while a retiree might use it to book a vacation and to search on global news.
White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).
Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’ (Oxford University Blog)