Topic 1 – Reflective Summary

After reading through my colleagues’ blog posts, questions start popping up in my mind, stringing thoughts that were previously off my mind.

As I understand deeper and further from the post on Emilia’s wordpress, I began thinking about various factors like “How distinct are ‘residents’ from ‘visitors’ despite the similarities in the usage of the internet?”, “To what extent could they be similar?”. “Although many users these days could be classified under a mixture of both (‘tenants’, as mentioned on the post), how do we distinct the differences among the ‘tenants’?”, and “how do these ‘tenants’ respond to various activities and culture on the internet?”

It has expanded my interests in doing further researches on the behavior of internet users, and also contributed to my understanding of the difference in personalities of the users which are possible factors in differentiating between the two.

By understanding the Digital Mapping concept in Kai Yuan’s wordpress, it helped me differentiate the ways people use social media and various websites, and the main purposes of using them. It has changed my point of view from classifying ‘residents’ and ‘visitors’ as people, to classifying them as mindsets of people when using various websites and applications.

It has taught me that there are many uses of the various social media platforms and how we can fully utilize them to meet what we want to achieve with different mindsets when using them.

Coming to this point, I have come to realize that usage of graphics like images and videos do play an important part in helping readers understand our point of view, and that we could apply our knowledge on this topic onto our daily activities on the internet to learn and grow as we adapt to changes in the online and physical environment.

Here are the comments on Emilia’s wordpress and Kai Yuan’s wordpress


Digital “Residents” vs. “Visitors”

Digital age

In the current era where internet has become easily accessible from anywhere, at anytime, our daily lives have been affected heavily. With the exposure to various websites among all ages, differences in how people use the internet, how long they use, and for what they use have become a way to differentiate types of users.


Are you a ‘resident’? For how long and what purpose are you using the web for? ‘Residents’ are individual users who spend a considerable amount of time on the internet, They project identity and forge relationships on social networking sites and online communities. It is especially noticeable on blogs and e-journals that users share their photos and comments on posts regarding their daily lives and activities. These people use many other tools on the web such as banking and search engines for their leisure activities like gaming and shopping online. Presenting themselves and being part of social networks with friends or colleagues has become an important aspect on the web.


Who are the ‘visitors’? Some users spend lesser time on the internet, and they share similar using patterns as the ‘residents’. ‘Visitors’ may spend up to long hours on the web as well, but rather only with specific motives to satisfy their needs. Similarly, they may use online services for shopping, research purposes, and online messenger applications – but only as a means of contact with family members, friends, or an acquaintances who reside in another country or region. However, ‘visitors’ do not engage and develop a sense of belonging over the internet, and they take identity theft and privacy issues into serious consideration.

What makes them different?

One major difference is that ‘residents’ create their presence online constantly, whereas ‘visitors’ log off once they have accomplished their purpose of using the web. This can be explained by looking at the different needs they have. According to Maslow’s Needs Theory, it appears to be that ‘residents’ are seen to be in the higher levels of needs – social, self-esteem, and self-actualization needs. The need to belong, the need for relationships and the need for self-actualization explains the phenomena. Whereas, ‘visitors’ are seen to be in the lower level of needs – physiological (using the internet to do things that meets their basic needs), and safety (preventing personal information from leaking over the web).


John Suler (1999) To get what you need: Healthy and pathological use 385-393

Larry Kuehn (2012) NoMore “DigitalNatives” and “DigitalImmigrants” 129-132

White, D. S., & Cornu, A. L. (2011)  Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9)