IRL - Online Life Is Real Life

Our online life is real life. We walk, talk, work, LOL and even love on the Internet – but we don’t always treat it like real life. Host Manoush Zomorodi explores this disconnect with stories from the wilds of the Web, and gets to the bottom of online issues that affect us all. Whether it’s privacy breaches, closed platforms, hacking, fake news, or cyber bullying, we the people have the power to change the course of the Internet, keeping it ethical, safe, weird, and wonderful for everyone. IRL is an original podcast from Firefox, the tech company backed by Mozilla that believes privacy isn’t a policy. It’s a right.


episode 4: Virtual Connections

:'-) Ever wonder why emoticons exist? They popped up in the 1980s to make online connections feel a little less digital and a little more personal :D. In this episode of IRL, host Veronica Belmont and special guest Peter Rojas explore how the Internet is both building and also confusing our relationships every day. Chloe Stuart-Ulin gives a first-hand account of her life as a “closer” for an online-dating service; we hear a dramatic, real-life story about a woman who finds her biological parent online; and Emma Brockes talks about how we can all maintain humanity while interacting with others on the internet.

IRL is an original podcast from Mozilla. For more on the series go to

Read more about Chloe Rose's experience as a "closer" for hire on online dating apps here.

Emma Brockes writes a column for the Guardian called How to be Human Online. She's just written a book too called, An Excellent Choice: Panic and Joy on My Solo Path to Motherhood.

To read Ingrid Burrington's essay mentioned in the podcast about CorrLinks, the email service providing connection for inmates at U.S. prisons, go here.

Check out this article about how the internet has changed dating forever. Online dating coach Laurie Davis Edward shares her thoughts on the good, bad and ugly that comes with finding love on the web.

And, for more about human connection, and what our innate desire for it means for us as we — more and more — love, do business, and find our tribes online, read this piece by cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell.

Finally, for some bonus audio on how technology interfered with a marriage proposal — and commentary on new relationship norms — head over to Mozilla's blog.

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 2018-08-13  28m