The Bizarre Online Origins of ‘Me IRL’

What is “me irl”? It’s tough to define, but I’m sure you’re getting the hang of it. It’s not an ugly, #nofilter selfie at 7am, when I’ve got a morning deadline and a hangover-induced bloodlust for Gatorade and bacon. It’s more of a dramatic representation of the lunacy of my life — our life, our shared experience — on the Web. 

If you trace “me irl” back far enough — through the annals of Google history, past the modern eras of Twitter and Reddit and even the anarchic mid-2000s funhouses of 4chan and Something Awful — you’ll find the meme’s moment of origination. It took some digging, but I found it — what I believe is the very first true “me irl” published on the Internet. And it’s a doozy