Hashtag: IRL

IRL. In real life.

Isn’t it quite astonishing that this is even a phrase? That this is widely used, the hashtag and abbreviation known everywhere? Is it something so special to mark it as ‘real life’ interaction? Why is that?

We live in a multi media world, where relationships are formed, lived and ended online. The status of a person is determined by the likes they receive, the picture they paint on online networks, how best they apply filters to change their appearance to someone that doesn’t bear any resemblence anymore.

Dating apps are used by everyone and omnipresent. Do we actually speak to people anymore, as in meeting them in the pub, bar, cinema queue? I have been in this ‘game’ for a few years now, met nice men and arseholes. However, all lacked the ability to commit, they were always looking around the corner – there could be someone nicer, better, more beautiful – just one swipe away. Have we lost the ability to discover one another? To find out about quirky traits and habits? To accept the bad sides as they are outweighed by the good ones?

We need to get back to real life. I want IRL laughter, getting to know each other, joy. Dating events of all sorts are becoming more popular. After all, it is still possible to meet prospective partners away from screens and swipes. I enjoy going to these events, the fun and quirky ones (not so much the box-standard speed dating) – we need more of those. Let’s remind ourselves that dating should be fun, not heartbreaking and confidence shattering.

Another positive of IRL interaction: we are reminded of manners and standards of communication, to show empathy and consideration. Meaning, the things some people say online hidden behind screens and online anonymity they would never say face-to-face. Witness the impact your words and actions have, good or bad, laughter or tears.

So, in real life is the new mantra. Let’s get out there. Delete dating apps. Don’t compare ourselves to fake online personas.

And I am still hopeful to meet my Mr Right, maybe at tomorrow’s sports class? 😉


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