The web is a revolutionary tool that has a profound impact on everyone’s daily lives in the 21st Century. From working to socialising, everyone has different wants and requirements out of the web. As a result, there are different competency levels, skill-sets and levels of confidence associated with being present digitally. There really is a stigma of getting left behind if you’re not online in modern society.
Marc Prensky proposed an explanation for differing computing competencies based on the fundamental ideology that there is a strong correlation between age and competency with technology. He said that those who were younger are more comfortable with digital environments than those of the older generations. He expressed these ideas through the following terms:
‘Natives’ which represent the younger generation who are very competent digitally as this is the times they have grown up in with technology everywhere.
‘Immigrants’ are those ‘who were not born into the digital age’ (Prensky, 2001) and have to adapt in order to survive but will never be fully competent.
In the video below Sree Sreenivisan explains the idea of Natives and Immigrants as well as highlighting that immigrants can be fully competent breaking through the idea of immigrants just ‘keeping up’.
There is also an alternative typology which is the idea of ‘Digital Residents and Visitors’. This looks past the divides in age but rather how much technology is incorporated into one’s life.
Residents are individuals who spends a lot of their time online, they have a strong online identity and are very active through online mediums.
Visitors are individuals who uses web only when needed. There is a clear divide in their time which they set aside to going online, it isn’t an integrated part of their lives.
The following video also outlines the terms in more depth:
Here is my personal resident/ visitor map:
From a personal perspective I would describe myself as a digital resident. This is as I am avid user of social media as well as a competent user of online tools such as online banking and educational/tutorial websites. However, I would put a caveat on this in that my use to digital tools is currently predominately from a personal perspective and my professional online identity is yet to be established. This can be seen in the map above. But, I do think this is quite normal for my age.
Do you agree? And how do you view your online presence?
jiscnetskills (2014) Visitors and residents. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPOG3iThmRI (Accessed: 11 February 2017).
Prensky, M., (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.
Prensky, M., (2009). From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom
TEDx Talks and Sreenivasan, S. (2015) Digital natives vs. Digital immigrants | Sree Sreenivasan | TEDxNewYork. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_9gI0B4nS4 (Accessed: 11 February 2017).
White, D., & Cornu, A. L. (2008). Tall blog.
White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).
White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement.