Real life (reality)

Real life is a term referring to life in the real world. It is generally used in reference to life or consensus reality outside of an environment seen as fiction or fantasy, as on the Internet, virtual reality, dreams, novels, or movies. Online, the acronym IRL means "in real life", with the meaning "not on the Internet" [cite web | title=" search for IRL" | url= ]

"Real life" can be a controversial term, as it can serve as value judgement to describe "productive" activities, like work and the support of one's family, in contrast to "unproductive" leisure activities. Indeed, outside of fictional worlds, the phrase is often used to contrast a more traditional way of living against a pejoratively depicted existence such as academic life, in a manner similar manner to the term "real world". [cite web | title=Definition of "real life" | work=WordNet Search | url= | accessdate=2007-01-10] A person with experience in "real life" or "the real world" has experience beyond book learning.

In its use as a contrast of fictional worlds or fictional universes against the consensus reality of the reader, the term has a long history:

In its use for differentiating personal worlds created on the Internet from "offline" life, the term naturally has a much shorter history and a more unclear future. Sociologists engaged in the study of the internet have theorized that someday a distinction between online and real life worlds may seem "quaint", noting that certain types of online activity, such as business transactions, have already made a full transition to complete legitimacy and "reality".cite book|chapter=Social Relationships and Identity On-line and Off-line|title=Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Consequences of ICTs|editor=Leah, Sonia, Lievrouw, and Livingstone|author=Don Slater|pages=533–543|date=2002|publisher=Sage Publications Inc|id=ISBN 0761965106]


The abbreviation RL stands for "real life". For example, one can speak of meeting in RL someone whom one has met in chat or on an Internet forum, or of an inability to use the Internet for a time due to "RL problems". The phrase "in real life" is often similarly replaced with the acronym IRL. Some prefer the expression face-to-face, abbreviated f2f. Some internet users use the idioms face time or meatspace, which contrasts with the term "cyberspace".cite web |url= |title=meatspace (MEET.spays) n. |accessdate=2008-08-11 |work=Word Spy |publisher=Paul McFedries and Logophilia Limited |date=1996-11-14 ]

ee also

* Meatspace
* Off-line


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • real-life — /ree euhl luyf , reel /, adj. existing or happening in reality: real life drama. [1830 40] * * * real life adjective Thesaurus: real and seeming realsynonym Main entry: real life * * * adj, always used before a noun : happening in the real world… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Real Life (film) — Infobox Film name = Real Life director = Albert Brooks writer = Albert Brooks, Monica Mcgowan Johnson, Harry Shearer starring = Albert Brooks, Dick Haynes, Charles Grodin producer = Penelope Spheeris distributor= Paramount Pictures budget =… …   Wikipedia

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  • real-life — /ree euhl luyf , reel /, adj. existing or happening in reality: real life drama. [1830 40] * * * …   Universalium

  • real-life — re′al life adj. cvb existing or happening in reality • Etymology: 1830–40 …   From formal English to slang

  • In Real Life — Format Reality Competition Created by Jonathan Finkelstein Country of origin  Canada …   Wikipedia

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