It was an enlightening experience to research my digital identity. Determining the difference between resident and visitor forced me to differentiate between where my presence merely exists, vs where I am truly visible to those outside of my small network. Prior to this exercise I considered myself to have a relatively small digital presence. Now, I know that I have a large digital presence, but the manner in which I engage with each platform is, in my opinion, what defines my presence as a visitor vs a resident.
I have a Facebook profile, but have only 5 friends. I do not have a twitter account, but like to read political tweets across the world, and now tweets from others in the MALAT program. Similarly, I utilize online banking, Netflix, podcasting apps and more, but merely from a visitor perspective as my transactions or viewing history are not “public”. I do not have an identity on these platforms that is visible to the world and easily searchable.
In contrast, I have a publically accessible Instagram page that I use to document the coming and goings of my life, an AirBNB profile where I have been publically ranked as a visitor and a host, and a LinkedIn profile that is available to other users. I consider myself to be a resident in these environments as they shape the presence I have, or the impression that others may have of me online.
I am looking forward to seeing how my MALAT cohort has chosen to define and categorize their digital presence(s).