:'-) 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 irlpodcast.org.
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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