irl no longer applies. irl used to be the way for some of us to discern between “in real life” and “online” friendships and relationships. at this point in time an overwhelming percentage of my relationships (friendly, business, or otherwise) are what i would have termed virtual ten years ago. i have had face time with my immediate family on average three times a year for the last few years. almost all of my close friends live in a city other than mine, and some live on another continent.
for me irl is no longer valid because all of these long distance relationships are now part of my real life. we may keep in touch via chat or email or texting or rss feeds or comments on photos and blog posts. with some people i even have some sort of voice communication, made cheaper by the fact that i was an early adopter for voip with standalone sip hardware. some of these people i have yet to see in meat space and others are people i gather with at the same gps coordinates perhaps once a year or once every two years. i have meaningful personal and business relationships with people from all of those categories.
it’s interesting that the term irl is no longer valid to describe my interpersonal relations, and i have a shrinking suspicion that perhaps it doesn’t apply to you either.