We need a new term for IRL (in real life). For me, and I think a lot of people with chronic illnesses etc, talking to people online IS real life.

I'm not comfortable with the term 'meatspace', as it's too close to experiences of women being treated like a piece of meat*.

So do people have any other suggestions?

*not sure if this was just an Australian thing or not

Thanks to everyone who replied about alternatives for IRL*. The suggestions are:

Outside world
In person (IP)
Big blue room
P2P (person to person)
On the physical plane
Afk (away from keyboard)

It's great to have so many options. I'm going to try out using a few of these until I find the one that works for me.

*sans meatspace, which I don't like

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@GwenfarsGarden I like meatspace but I dont use it.
Agree a new term would be good

@Siphonay I guess saying online friends, offline friends etc, would work. Thanks :)

@GwenfarsGarden maybe a bit bland but i think "offline" can work. (i also do like 99% of my socialising online.)

@alex someone else suggested this too. I can't believe I didn't think of it.

@GwenfarsGarden I've been saying 'in-person' because I agree that IRL devalues the very real online friends and online experiences many people have. Doesn't always flow well and only really works in social contexts.

I'm okay with meatspace though! I don't have a strong association between it and the term 'like a piece of meat'. But it's more irreverant in tone than always feels appropriate.

@vicorva that's not bad, I'll add it to the list.

I think my reaction to meatspace comes from experiences as a teenager and young adult in Oz.

@c0debabe @zzz @ArtistMarciaX a couple of people have suggested this. Thanks, it's on the list. :)

@GwenfarsGarden I often use the M word (as to me at least, its roots are in cyberpunk literature and we were using it back in the 80s and early 90s). I use the term realspace interchangeably.

@andy @GwenfarsGarden How about using P2P for person to person, also having peer to peer connotations

@andy I get that, but as a woman growing up in Australia, meatspace has very negative connotations. So I want to avoid it. Realspace doesn't get away from the 'real' aspect. Online is real too :)

@GwenfarsGarden Ah, apologies I think I misinterpreted. I thought you were looking for an alternative for the bizarre consensual reality we call "IRL", my bad. So one that encompasses all layers. Hm. Not sure then as I'm with you (I've been a part of online communities since the 80s and met my now-wife online in the mid-90s...we don't particularly differentiate between the two).

And I'll be more careful about using that word in future. Thanks for the heads-up!

@andy I think a lot of people still differentiate between the two. Or at least, I see people doing it all the time. And it frustrates me, as someone stuck at home with a chronic illness (lockdown is normal for me) who uses the online world to communicate with people - to me it's just as real as the offline world.

I'm going to post the suggestions I get from people later.

@GwenfarsGarden Yeah, I know the feeling regarding people differentiating. 😆

Stay safe, take care and a big wave from just the other side of the Pennines (we're about 35 miles west of Sheff).

@GwenfarsGarden lately I say "on the physical plane" because that makes my internet surfing sound like I'm astral projecting, which sounds rad!

@bgcarlisle I had to look up what ago meant! I guess you could say afk friends. I'll add it to my list

@GwenfarsGarden AFK (away from keyboard) is used in this context a lot, from what I've seen?

@cassolotl It's been suggested a couple of times now. I've never heard of it before today!

@GwenfarsGarden sorry my brain skipped that you didn't like it...

But yeah otherwise, in person is good.

Also afk, away from keyboard

@maloki yeh, for some reason I find it triggering. Bad experiences with sexist men in Oz as a teen and young adult I think.

In person and afk are going on the list

@GwenfarsGarden i use irl but i really shouldn't since i've met many of my internet friends in person and have a lot of old college friends that i only talk to online now

meatspace bothers me but i don't know why, it just sounds gross somehow

i might start using offline, that was probably the best suggestion i saw on this thread

@ebeth I think offline is my favourite too. I'm going to post the list of suggestions tomorrow.

@GwenfarsGarden woah meatspace? First time I've heard of that term and definitely it does not sound good in any context I can think of.

hand-shake area? I was going for something related to touch :)

@elisha I only started seeing it when I started using Masto a couple of years ago.

I'm posting the list tomorrow and will add hand-shake friends :)

@xiroux it is, but I think I'd have to explain all the time, which would defeat the purpose of a simple replacement for irl.

@GwenfarsGarden "on the physical plane" sounds so mysterious i love it

@Olli_W_ I think it's great, in contrast to the virtual plane. But might need too much explaining. I also like analogue, but again, the explaining. Trying to find a simple short form replacement. Probably offline, in person or afk (for me that is)

@GwenfarsGarden yeah it's not very practical, but The Aesthetics Though™

glad you found something that works for you!!

@GwenfarsGarden I know "AFK" though maybe that's a bit dated now that we carry our keyboards around with us.

@GwenfarsGarden I know P2P as peer-to-peer (in networking terms). F2F as in face-to-face is missing from the list though.

@GwenfarsGarden I say offline platforms of communication, offline media, etc.

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