Irl: Finding Our Real Selves in a Digital World (Paperback)
""A must-read."" --Buzzfeed
It's reflexive and common to view our online presence as fake; to see the internet as a space we enter when we aren't living our real, offline lives. But ever since a pandemic pushed more and more of our work, relationships, and even leisure into digital space, the internet doesn't feel so fake anymore. Every day, the lines between digital and ""real"" space blur even further.
Activist and writer Chris Stedman explores authenticity in the digital age, shining a light into and beyond age-old notions of realness--who we are and where we fit in the world--to bring fresh understanding for our increasingly online lives. Stedman offers a new way of seeing the supposed split between our online and offline selves, one in which online spaces and social media become new tools for understanding and expressing ourselves--and where the not-always-graceful ways we use these tools can reveal new insights for incorporating far older human truths into modern life. How might the online spaces we use fulfill our essential human need to feel real? Must we view the internet and the real world as binary, where there is no room for overlap? Playful and wise, Stedman suggests that the digital search for meaning and belonging presents challenges but also opportunities to become more fully human. He boldly invites us to embrace realness in all its uncertainty, online and off, no matter how risky it might feel.