521.2.2 – Visitor Resident Typology

Originally published May 12, 2021. Backdated for public readers.

As a student of one of the first post-secondary institutions on the western seaboard to get invited to ‘the Facebook,’ as we called it back in 2006, I have watched social media grow and change.

Of course, the use of the internet has also changed significantly over the past 15 years, and the process of completing this Visitor-Resident typology assignment reminds me of a family saying, “if you write it, it’s forever.”

For my guest readers, White (2013) describes the way users interact with the internet as either visitors, those who search for information, or residents, those who build and share their personality online. White (2013) is also quick to point out that neither position, visitor nor resident, represents a particular person. Rather it helps users understand what tools they use in the internet age and how they may impact their persona.

This typology activity reminds me of how I have tried to carefully use the internet to reflect my values, attract helpful people into my life, and aspire towards my personal and professional goals. The below map illustrates this heavy focus on work and changes to my use of social media discussed further below.

Alternatively, Cormier (2018) proposes a different typology map that instead asks students to categorize their preference for professional practices in either a group or individual setting and using either digital or analog tools. Reflecting upon this alternative method, I prefer to build my persona and explore new professional tasks in an analog environment, first individually and then with the group. Only once I feel confident that new information will provide social value do I wish to share my ideas with the stakeholders in my area of influence.

Over the past 15 years, I recall 3 moments that shaped the way I use social media and reminded me of our family saying, “If you write it, it’s forever!” As a result of these moments, I shifted my focus away from the digital space and focused on in-person interactions with my social network.

    • 2009 – Facebook expanded outside the confines of the post-secondary space, changing who could view your content.
    • 2013 – A social media post between friends was taken out of context by a public user.
    • 2018 – Facebook was no longer an effective way for me to stay in touch with my post-secondary friends, and I deleted my account, now using What’s App or visits in-person to stay connected.

As a person of influence in sports coaching, I have also discussed the impact of digital footprints with my athletes and am looking forward to using this typology map during future conversations.


White, D. (2013, June 13). Visitors and Residents mapping activity [Video file]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9IMObcyKbo

White, D. (2013, September 13). Just the Mapping [Video file]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK1Iw1XtwQ

Cormier, D. (2018, March 31). Digital Practices Mapping – Intro activity for digital literacies course. Dave’s Educational Blog. https://bit.ly/3yhqmTE

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