What Does “IRL” Mean?

By Jax

IRL, an abbreviation for “In Real Life,” is commonly used in online conversations and social media platforms. It indicates a desire to meet in person, as opposed to continuing an interaction online. The term became popular in 2018 and is predominantly used in text messaging and social media.

Examples and other meanings of IRL

“Can’t wait to see everyone IRL!”

This expression is often used to convey happiness and excitement about meeting people in person.

“Want to meet IRL?”

This phrase, when directed at children, may be a sign of an unsafe interaction online. It may indicate a predatory intent and should be addressed accordingly to ensure safety.

Popularity over time

The term began trending in 2018 and has since become widely used in text messaging and social media. It signifies a desire to transition from virtual interactions to real-life connections.

Importance of understanding IRL

With the increasing prevalence of online interactions, it is essential to be aware of the meaning of IRL and to exercise caution, especially when it comes to children and online safety. Understanding this term can help individuals navigate their online interactions and better protect themselves and others from potential risks.


IRL stands for “In Real Life” and is commonly used as an abbreviation in digital conversations to suggest a desire for in-person interactions. Understanding the meaning and implications of IRL is crucial in ensuring safe and positive online experiences.