Filters, tweets and snaps have a tendency to make life appear infinitely more glamorous to outsiders than the boring reality of day-to-day routines. While few would be caught dead posting a Saturday night spent doing laundry on Instagram, it would be a far more accurate reflection of everyday life than typical social media.
"IRL" is the Internet acronym calling out the stark contrast between what life is made to look like on social media and what life really looks like. For example, that post-vacation tan may have worn off weeks ago but with a little help from an Instagram filter a sexy glow is easily restored. The temporary tan may make social media followers envious, but if you're spotted IRL the bronze facade will be ruined.
Social media can make even the most mundane routine seem cool with the right staging.
IRL can also be used to differentiate between someone you've communicated with via a social platform and someone you've actually come face-to-face with.
I have not met her IRL but I spend a significant portion of my day being proud of Demi Lovato
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) May 28, 2015
Watch Kylie Jenner compare her Instagram account to her real life in this video: