"This paperback edition of IRL includes a new introduction, drawing into consideration how the coronavirus pandemic has driven many more personal interactions into the online world. For readers wondering how to balance life online and off, IRL provides amiable and invaluable insight."
"Even without the pandemic, IRL would be a vital read, a thoughtful examination of our perpetually "logged on" existence, and a measured critique of the social systems that define our time online."
"Stedman remains accessible as he places himself into this technological yet jargon-free narrative; anyone looking to learn more about digital culture and its impact on society will be interested in and able to follow the concepts the author puts forth."
"Stedman's humorous, thoughtful guide to how we can rehumanize the online world is needed more than ever."
"A handy user's manual for leading an online life full of meaning and connection."
"There's never been a better time for a book like IRL. It's a book that deals with elemental urges in plain, direct language. . . . There are dozens of vivid metaphors in the course of this book. . . . Odds are we're all going to be living online for the foreseeable future. Stedman's hard-won wisdom on the subject is well worth heeding."
Open Letters Review
"Jam-packed with metaphors and beautifully described vignettes. . . . Stedman reminds us throughout IRL that these digital lives, though different, aren't any less real than our offline ones, so they must be managed with care."
"A must-read for anyone who's condemned the internet for creating huge social disconnect, and everyone whose lived experiences prove otherwise."
"Stedman is at ease in the existential, both digitally and IRL (in real life). . . . IRL is a fascinating contribution to this all-important conversation."
"A book that will change the online (and offline) you."
"Thoughtful, prescient, and hyper-relevant."
Killing the Buddha
"In Stedman's new book, IRL, he cements his position as a powerful cultural critic and gifted author."
"IRL is a profound and necessary exploration of our identities online and how we interact with each other."
"[IRL] is erudite yet highly readable, a deeply confessional memoir that mixes philosophy with pop culture and media studies."
"In Stedman's latest work, the author turns his thoughtful yet thorough gaze upon the internet as a means of constructing purpose and identity. A hybrid of memoir, criticism, and reportage . . . all held together by Stedman's moments of bracing honesty. . . . Vital
"Honest and careful, . . . [Stedman] offers compelling new ways to think about our own engagement in the digital world, constantly pushing us to consider what is real. . . . Provocative, unlikely, and fascinating."
"Tackles big questions about what it means to be authentic in a world where so much of our social interaction is now taking place online. The book goes to deep places, but it doesn't burden the reader with an overly serious tone. Instead, [Stedman] brings a lightness by blending memoir, interviews, and social science, all arranged in vignettes so that reading feels like scrolling through a carefully curated Instagram feed. . . . A glowing example of what it means to think relationally about our own lives and the lives of others."
The Society Pages
"If you've ever wondered why you can't stop drunk-tweeting or stick to your commitment to delete Facebook from your phone, Stedman's book might help you feel better about--and maybe even better understand--your behavior."
Minneapolis City Pages
"A perfect book for our Twitter-fingered, selfie-obsessed times."
"I found myself remarkably moved, stirred time and time again, and convinced that Stedman has hit upon the human condition. . . . One of the most important volumes in the last decade on the intersection of technology, social media, and humanity."
The Journal of Interreligious Studies