The next anthology from Fiction & Feeling, this is a book about the years when the internet first started gaining momentum as a place to build connections and community. It was a time when it was 'unsafe' to use your real name, introductions started with A/S/L, and secrets were shared with strangers in a digital space until the wee hours of the morning. Most of the friendships I formed during this time of forums, message boards, LiveJournal, and ICQ have remained lasting into our current Internet climate of dumpster fireism. I want to know what was it about this particular time on the Internet that lent itself to such honesty, vulnerability, and connection.
Better Than IRL will be a collection of true stories written by pioneers and participants of online communities who fostered connection and sharing on the internet from around 2003-2013. The book will be personal and hopeful. It won't be nostalgic moaning about how the internet isn't what it once was, but instead, discuss how it made us into who we are now and how we can take the lessons we learned about community and connection to be better going forward.