Reflecting on Topic 1

One of the key points that I have learnt from topic 1 is that the distinction between the two categories boils down to individuals engaging with the internet differently. Holly’s post likened digital visitor’s use of the internet as a vacation and residents use to a world traveller which is a good metaphor for the distinction between the groups. However, my comment questioned the way online privacy settings within social media platforms can minimize an individual’s online presence and move a resident more towards a visitor.

Through interaction with Shriya in the comments section of my original post, I realised that within society today young people are perhaps scared into accepting a digital visitor role. This is because, like myself, many people have been cautioned by parents and schools about the dangers and risks of the internet. This has led to many individuals adopting a digital visitor role or like Bob-R-S (2014) stated, ensuring that online activity lies within a ‘social walled garden’.

Further to this, through reading Rofini’s post, it allowed me to question whether a connection can be made between whether an individual is a resident or visitor and whether they are using the internet for personal or educational purposes. My comment drew upon my own experiences to suggest a correlation between individuals being in an educational context and swinging more towards the visitor category and those using the internet for personal reasons and swinging more towards the resident category. This idea supports the idea of White (2011) that was mentioned in Jodie’s blog that states that individuals can move between the two categories based on their drives and attitudes at any particular time. The context that people engage with the internet in will hence reflect their traceability and the extent to which they ‘reside’ online.

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