Internet has been playing an increasingly important role in our day-to-day life. It has brought us a lot of benefits and what interesting is our online identity could be distinguished digital native and digital immigrant which is announced by Marc Prensky on ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’(2001). Prensky distinguishes native and immigrant through generation and thinks our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language because we born in a digital world and those who were not born into the digital world but have, called digital immigrants. He also thinks the importance of the distinction is digital immigrant always adapt to environment. They have “accent” therefore they always behind the native. Like parents always learn from their children the new language.
But Prensky’ point is too one-side. This much-criticised point has been replaced to “Visitors” and “residents” that gives a better expression to our online identity.
Residents usually make the internet as a part of life. Residents see the web as a place, perhaps like a park or a building in which there are friends whom they can approach and with whom they can share information about their life and work(White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L, 2011). They are people who have an persona online which they regularly maintain. They like sharing their life online, shopping online, search information online but they will also use the web to socialize and to express themselves. they often use the web in all aspects of their lives; professionally, for study and for recreation.(White, D. S, 2008) They regard web as a small world and spend lots of time to contribute their personality in this world.
Visitors usually use the web as a tool. They only use the web at specific time. They unlike residents spend much time on the web. They only want to gain want they want. For example, searching information or booking tickets. They are sceptical of services that offer them the ability to put their identity online as don’t feel the need to express themselves by participating in online culture in the same manner as a Resident(White, D. S, 2008), therefore, they do not leave any social trace online. However, it doesn’t mean residents are use the internet better than visitors. Visitors might use any single service will be greater than residents.
Prensky, M. (2001) “Digital natives, digital immigrants,” On the Horizon, volume 9, number 5, [Online] Available at: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf, Last Accessed 10th Oct 2016
White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).
Online education with the University of Oxford. (2011).
Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’.