Negotiations at the IRL/URL Border

These are the things I feel online:

A paranoid lust for the gaze of strangers. Hope. Excitement. Fear. The opaque, agnostic wondering of an unrequited DM and the guilt of an unread tab. Mania in the dopamine fave loop. The letting-go spiral of going viral, scattering your narrative to the cyberwinds (BuzzFeed take the wheel). Warmth from the candles of a table-for-two email. Circuitous integration with a zeitgeist. The sleepover-party-sleeping-bag whisper of night Twitter, a nauseous momentum from scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, and a million kinds of unfocused love for a network that somehow manages to be boundaryless yet intimate.


The IRL/URL boundary, as it stands, is characterized by shame. We encounter internet friends in “real life” and exchange uncomfortable introductions. “We can tell our parents we met at church,” the Tinder man justifies, without prompt. There is writer and then there is blogger. There is art and there is net art. To cheapen an idea, one may simply append the suffix, “on the internet.”

Negotiations at the IRL/URL Border

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