How do we know we are best friends with someone? Ideally, when they know everything about you or when you can snapchat each other seven funny faces in a row. Realistically, when you go to their house and you feel free to open their fridge. What’s the matter with opening other people’s fridge? Aside from taking delicious food to avoid starving (as almost every student in college), it denotes a sense of pertenece and connection. You feel confortable enough to interact as someone who lives in that house. I discovered the internet works like your friend’s fridge.
IT’S A COLD AND EMPTY PLACE
Just Kidding. But I’m still using the simile. The internet, the web, or the place where you spent 70% of your day time can be used in different ways. One of the ways an Individual’s web engagements is described is called Visitors & Residents proposed by David White, head of Digital Learning in the University of the Arts London. The description is focused on the way the user interacts with content, publications, social media or even other users. Before going back to my catchy and brilliant fridge simile, I’m going to explain what does #vandr (This is how cool people refer to Visitors & Residents) actually refers to.
Visitor Mode : When in this mode, individuals have a define task they want to accomplish. For example, discovering information or making your homework. Whenever the task is done, they go offline and move into another task. Being online means a tool.
Resident Mode: In this mode individuals go online to connect, react, relate and interact with other people. This mode is more about social presence and visibility. This behaviour leaves a social trace. The information seek in this mode is about other users and can be direct questioning.
Let’s write an example. If you go to youtube and watch any video, you are in visitor mode. In the other hand, if you react to the video publicly, comment or you make the video and upload it, you are in the resident mode. Easy, right? A way to understand your interaction is to map it. Sundi, Autumn and Bonnie talk more about that in this video, where all of the #vandr thing is explained and also you can make your own map like mine:
I realized that the places in which I’m a resident are almost brand new. This lead me to think, how many of us are actually generating content as residents instead of just being visitors of every website we say hi in? Instead of figuring out by myself, I start to ask people which is their preferred and most used social network and why they used it. The video is completely in Spanish (I’m challenging language proficiency):
In case Spanish lesson where forgotten or you just skip the video (which is cool, but you missed people with a cute dog snapchat filter), the most common answer no matter the social network chosen is that people like to see content from others. From top models in Instagram, friend’s snapchat stories or just giving likes to everyone, all of this types of content make people get online. But what I’ve noticed (except from a french girl who loved to upload pictures in Instagram for other people to see her trip to Mexico) is that most of us tend to read or see content but we barely create it. What we are doing is that we are staying in the visitor mode, we are a friend that just asks for water (Do you see my simile there?). The web, and especially Mexico, needs more people engaged with creation and sharing of content. People who actually place their ideas between lines start to generate a stream or path of knowledge for everyone. If people where more involved in the public domain, information wouldn’t be consider a privilege. Why Mexico? Mexico is a country where science development is needed. There are only three nobel prizes granted to Mexicans, and only one is about science. Generations tend to wait for information to arrive instead of pursuing knowledge. Publishing and research shouldn’t be exclusive for Ph.D. We all have the ability to create. Visitor mode isn’t a bad zone to be. Any time we do research, read or enrich ourselves with others’ ideas we are building our learning process. Nevertheless, we need to build a commitment to become learners instead of just students. Teach others what you’ve just learned. Make a bond with the place we spend most of our day time. Are we using the internet only as a passive tool or are we opening the fridge and serving ourselves from it?
Gif obtain from http://giphy.com/
Video is an original Kimberly