Now this is a very interesting concept... and it is not one we think of very often. I think that is a little odd seeing as we often look at other parts of our life in this way. Dave White explains our online presence as on a continuum falling somewhere between a visitor of the internet and a resident. As the idea suggests a visitor to the internet would be someone who has a small to non-existent presence online. They might only use the internet to do specific things like a small amount of e-mail, casually surfing the web, shopping, etc. This means their digital footprint is fairly small and if one was to search their name, the likelihood of them actually coming up in the search is VERY unlikely. An online visitor would not appear to be someone who has settled in to this region of existence, just as a visitor to a city would not likely be in the local phonebook, the newspaper, high school yearbooks, etc.
On the contrary, if someone is a resident of the internet, they would generally be findable, or searchable. The exist on the web and would often either blog, post on Facebook, Tweet, record vlogs or have podcasts. On the extreme side, most of their life would be recorded online and their digital footprint would be significant. And with the world becoming more and more saturated with technology, it makes a lot of sense that people are becoming more and more likely to become residents.
As White points out, originally the idea was shared as "Natives & Immigrants" written by Prensky in 2001. The reason why the language changed is because no one is really native to the digital world, we are all immigrants. The difference is our status of residency. How present are we? Are we residents, or simply visiting cyberspace? When it comes to my level of residency, I would say I am at a healthy medium of the spectum and even maybe a bit further toward resident. I have created a few websites over the years, I have a facebook, I have an active domain, as all readers would know, and I have a modest online presence on other social media (however, the only one I really used much is Facebook).
White, D. [Dave White]. 2013, May 31. Visitors and Residents. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sFBadv04eY
Richard Sable is from Vista, CA and graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2014 with a B.A. in Social Science and is currently working on his single subject teaching credential in the field of Social Science at CSU, San Marcos.