Concluding all the discussions and reflections our group engaged in during the first topic on online participation and digital literacies would result in a short novel. Therefore, I have decided to only reflect upon the categorization of individuals in visitors/residents, or even natives/immigrants. In our group we discussed and reflected that labeling is in this case quite difficult, as individuals might not perceive themselves as falling into a category. But the main difficulty is that individuals have a tendency to, as White and Le Cornu (2011) propose, move from and between resident to visitor, on a continuum, as shown in Figure 1.
This continuum, where individuals slide from one end to the other makes labelling difficult, and maybe even unnecessary. And do we actually need labels, or categories such as these? For whom are they beneficial? This is also interesting from a personal point of view. How would I label myself, as I feel that I fit in both categories, or labels? For instance, I feel that I have an online presence (even if I have started to cut down on these), even if I log off, but I still do much of my thinking off-line, and feel as if online tools as just that, tools for accomplishing a task. So for some parts, I’m leaning towards a resident, while other parts of me feel like a visitor. But do I/we actually need to label myself/ourselves? And what is the point?
White, D.S. and Le Cornu, A., 2011. Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First monday, 16(9).