The past 20 years has seen an increasing use of the internet and accompanying software.
This is an inescapable fact as globalisation continues and the world keeps getting smaller.
Digital literacy is a skill that most of us need to be at adept at in order to keep pace with the rest of the world. Businesses, schools, social circles etc have now seen a transference of their presence and means of interaction into cyberspace.
Visitor and Resident
White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011) brought up the idea that when it comes to digital usage, we can be broadly categorised into Visitors and Residents.
10 years prior, Prensky (Prensky, 2001) proposed the idea that we are either Natives or Immigrants.
This idea was based mainly upon the idea of birth where he posited that those of us that were born into the era of widespread internet use will naturally be adept at it and those that are not will have difficulty at the adaptation of it.
The “Visitor and Resident” idea builds upon this without outrightly opposing it.
In short, the idea is that the users of the internet can be grouped into either Visitors or Residents.
Visitors being those that uses the internet only when needed. They are reluctant to leave behind a digital footprint (such as on social media) as compared to the Residents.
They mainly uses the internet for work usage and might have a different profile for dealing with online interaction. For example. the user might have an online profile for work usage(LinkedIn) but when it comes to his private life, have an adverse reaction to social media(Facebook).
Residents, on the other hand… are much more comfortable with online interaction. The lines between online and offline interaction had been blurred to the point where they can have social interaction with their friends in lieu of meeting up face-to-face. They generally have no qualms about their online identity or safety.
Personally, I see myself more as a Visitor.
Like a Visitor, I believe that offline interactions are more meaningful and fulfilling as compared to online ones. If given the chance, I would rather be offline than online.
I use social media heavily but audit the content vigorously.
I have a fear of online security but believe that maintaining digital profiles are inevitable in this time and age. If we don’t keep up, we will be left behind.
Bennett, S, Maton, K, & Kervin, L. (2008) “The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence,” British Journal of Educational Technology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00793.x
Prensky, M. (2001) “Digital natives, digital immigrants,” On the Horizon. http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
White, D. (2008) TALL blog. from http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/