In Real Life

What Does In Real Life Mean?

In real life (IRL) is a tech slang term used to talk about the real world, in contrast to the world of the Internet, or some other virtual or cyber world.


In real life (IRL) is also known as the meatspace.

Techopedia Explains In Real Life

Internet users often use the term or the acronym IRL on message boards and in other venues to talk about things that that happen in the physical world. Tech professionals and others also use the term “real time” to talk about IT systems that update data according to timelines in the physical world, or in other words, in real life.

Although it may seem like a simple slang term, “in real life” could take on added meaning in the future, where distinctions between physical and cyber worlds continue to blur and blend together. This kind of language is used to try to describe changes in the ways that people interact with technology, as individuals and as societies. These interactions change as new interfaces develop and become popular as consumer purchases.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…