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Content Creators: Stop Using the Term “IRL”

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Today, I wanted to share a video with you that I think is extremely important. It comes from TEDxVictoria and is a talk by Alexandra Samuel, the Director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University and the co-founder and principal of Social Signal.

Every day, I see people using the phrase “in real life” (or “IRL”) when speaking about their life away from the Internet. But why isn’t the time we spend online real too?

It starts with us, the content creators. It starts with banishing the term “in real life” to talk about face-to-face connections and instead acknowledging that it is okay to have a real life online as well. And not only is it okay, but our interactions online count. When we say something mean online, it can hurt another person the same way saying something mean to them face-to-face can hurt. When we’re creative online, it’s just as valuable as when we’re creative in the offline world. Online, you can help people, hurt people, or even fall in love. It’s real life too.

Here’s the video:

My favorite quote from this video: “It’s up to each of us to decide that what we are doing and sharing online can create meaning. And if you focus on creating real meaning with what you are doing online, you’ll find that the Internet is actually meaningful.”

We are the shapers of the Internet. It’s up to us to be responsible for the content we’re adding to the Internet so that we’re creating a meaningful real life experience for everyone online.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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