Reza Aslan

“What does it mean to be real? This is the question that launches author and activist Chris Stedman on a personal and philosophical journey through the ways one which social media has changed our very sense of self. For the many out there who are perfectly comfortable with their curated identities online, but who have no idea who they are offline, this is the book for you.”

Cole Escola

“This is not some tired, shallow think piece about ‘How we’re on our phones too much.’ Chris Stedman writes from a very personal, empathetic place of genuine curiosity which inspired me to reflect on my own life online in ways I hadn’t thought about before.”

Eboo Patel

“Chris Stedman has done it again. This is a book of warmth and wisdom, a book about what it means to be human. It will expand your mind and comfort your spirit. I loved it.”

Nora McInerny

“We contain multitudes. Seeing all of those multitudes spun together with a combination of personal memoir and academic interest kept me turning page after page…on my e-reader. Ultimately, Chris Stedman does for our digital worlds what he does for atheism—asks us to expand our thinking beyond just one thing or the other, good or bad, and see that we’re all of us…just real.”

R. Eric Thomas

“I didn’t realize how much I needed this book! Chris Stedman’s perspective on humanness is so wise, vulnerable, and insightful. While the internet can bring us together and make us feel like we know strangers, true intimacy is a rare and magical thing. This surprising book possesses that magic and generously offers it to the reader.”

John Paul Brammer

“I, like many of my millennial compatriots, spend a good chunk of my life online. What I’ve found is that the internet has its own language and foments unique relationships, which can be difficult to navigate and understand. Few are able to write as lucidly on that subject as Chris Stedman, whose prose and insights bring clarity to the muddled, often chaotic lifestyle of we, the ‘terminally online.’ With this book, Stedman writes eloquently on his own experiences to illuminate the core truths of the online dynamics we interact with every day while at the same time asking key questions: What is ‘authenticity?’ What is ‘real?’ I highly recommend it, and I think it will play an important part in shaping how we discuss online interactions moving forward.”

Dylan Marron

“In IRL, Chris Stedman is getting after the real questions—and best of all, he’s not answering them for us, but encouraging us to ask them too. He’s a mapmaker charting intangible paths between the digital and physical realms, inviting us along to test out the pathways.”

Dave Holmes

“It’s easy to dismiss social media as one hundred percent bad and destructive (as many of us do when we performatively quit it once a week) or to passively let it run our lives (as many of us do when we start our day by scrolling through it). It takes a wise person to find the good and edifying within it, to identify a constructive way to use and to think about it, to see it for what it is. Chris Stedman is that person, and we’re lucky to have his rational voice in these rancorous times.”

Valarie Kaur

“How can we harness the internet in ways that give life, community, and meaning? Chris Stedman draws on his work as a fierce activist and trailblazing thinker to illuminate a path forward for us all. Weaving together powerful personal reflections and insightful research and reporting, Chris shows how the internet offers us an opportunity to approach the most central questions of life in new ways. This book is essential reading for understanding what it means to be human in our digital world.”

Nick White

“With IRL, Chris Stedman shares the vulnerable, and often harrowing, account of his search for how to be real in a messy, messy world. By reckoning with his own complicated relationship to social media, he ponders notions of community, friendship, heartache, and, above all, how to live a meaningful life. Filled with humane candor and clear-eyed prose, these pages show a brilliant mind at work on some of the thorniest issues today.”