“Social Media Tools” by jrhode is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

David White and Alison Le Cornu (2011) present that web users can be divided into two groups, visitors and residents, according to how they use it. The following text is a short description of what categorizes visitors and residents. 

Residents see the web as a place like any other in the “real world.” The line between their online and offline lives is blurred. Residents spend time with other people in virtual communities, have profiles on social networking platforms, and have a digital identity. On the other hand, visitors use literacies for specific tasks, like searching databases for information, using email to keep in touch with friends, etc. The visitor is anonymous online and avoids having a digital identity as they find little value in belonging online (White and Le Cornu, 2011).

During our first topic, I’ve been thinking about my own use of digital literacies and what is considered private and professional. I was born in 1988, and my childhood was without computers and an online presence. I still remember when my parents got us a family computer with a dial-up modem, and I was excited to dive into the online world. In the beginning, I used the computer for web searching, emails, playing games, and talking with friends online. My usage changed in 2007 when I moved to the U.S for a year as an au-pair. I started to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family and later joined other social network platforms. In the beginning, I was more of a resident than a visitor. It became a way of being close to home and made posts regularly, and had an open profile for anyone to see.

Before teaching, I worked as a social worker in social services with children and their families. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for social workers in this area to receive threats in their profession from parents due to decisions made regarding their children. As a new social worker, I soon realized that clients had accessed my personal Facebook profile. This made me uncomfortable, and I didn’t want the line between personal and professional to get blurred and made my digital presence barely noticeable. Since becoming a teacher and entering this ONL-course, I’ve started to consider if being more resident would be such a bad thing? 


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

Reflection on topic 1: Online participation and digital literacies