The video “Visitors & Residents” was pretty interesting to watch. Using the analogy of language is a good way of explaining why there is this “gap” in technology education and navigation. In the video, David White says that the younger generation born with technology are native, as in native speakers. Those of older generations can adapt to technology and excel in their knowledge and navigation skills, but will never have the same ease of flow or dialect as native speakers are with their mother tongue. I also agree that people go back and forth between being a visitor and being a resident when it comes to certain areas of the internet. For example, I am a visitor when it comes to logging into my school software, completing my assignments, and then logging off. I don’t necessarily spend all of my time on it because I use the software for one particular part of my day or for school-related activities only. On the other hand, I am a resident on apps such as Twitter and YouTube, where I spend a lot of time and I don’t use them for only one particular task or entertainment. On Twitter, I can go on there multiple times for news, social interactions with friends and followers, and seeing the latest updates from my favorite artists. On YouTube, while the main reason for YouTube is video entertainment, I also go on there for news, educational information, watch crafting videos, and other entertainment, and there are now so many How-To tutorials so anyone can do almost anything on their own with the help of others online.
One thing that stood out to me when it comes to Visitors & Residents is that Marc Pensky, the creator of the Digital Natives & Immigrants idea, discovered afterward that age isn’t a predominant factor like he initially thought it was. Early in his creation of the idea, he assumed that older generations wouldn’t understand technology like the younger generations because they weren’t born when technology was all around. Later, however, it was the motivation that was a key factor in the learning literacies of technology. For me, I have personally seen this at my work. I work with a few coworkers who are baby boomers, who are stereotypically seen as the generation who will not understand technology the way younger generations do. One coworker, M, took a few times to learn the new software at work by navigating it and exploring on her own, whereas the other coworker, J, watched the required tutorial and then began to immediately get frustrated and accuse our manager of not teaching her how to navigate, which has led to a bit of a hassle for the rest of us who have to stop our work every time for the past few years to repeatedly teach her the basics of our work software. (I May have gone on a little tangent!)
Related to Visitors & Residents is an article titled, “The Internet and Youth Culture” by Gustavo, S. Mesch. It discusses how the youth have transformed the usage of technology to be a part of their daily lives. One topic that is mentioned multiple times is the fact that adolescents can go online and have the ability to express themselves meet others with similar interests and create friendships that they wouldn’t have the ability to do in their hometowns. What wasn’t discussed but I believe in greatly, is that this is an outlet for youths to gain a sense of self, and self-confidence, and can be a safe space for those who are bullied in real life. Another important part of the article is that for youths, the internet and social media allow them to gain knowledge and real-time information on events that are taking place. Places such as Twitter and TikTok have given people the ability to come together to inform one another on things such as humanitarian issues and find ways to get involved and help in the ways that they can.
Another factor that Mesch brought up, but I feel needs to be amplified a lot more, is that it isn’t an “age thing” it is an accessibility thing. There are a lot of people who do not have access to technology, unlike a good majority of the population, called the digital divide. The digital divide is defined as, “the gap between those with Internet access and those without it. But the digital divide is multifaceted and includes many factors such as access, affordability, quality, and relevance.” (Muller, C.) Hopefully, as we progress with technology, and as more generations are born with everything digitally at their fingertips, this divide will begin to dwindle until it is no more as we begin to discover that technology is becoming a right and not a privilege.
Mesch, G. S. (2017, September 20). The Internet and Youth Culture. Academia.edu. https://www.academia.edu/34625696/The_Internet_and_Youth_Culture
Muller, C. (2023, August 31). What is the digital divide?. Internet Society. https://www.internetsociety.org/blog/2022/03/what-is-the-digital-divide/#:~:text=At%20a%20high%20level%2C%20the,affordability%2C%20quality%2C%20and%20relevance.
White, D. (2014, March 10). Visitors and residents. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPOG3iThmRI&t=1s
White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). View of visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement: First Monday. First Monday. https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3171/3049
Photo Link: Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash