Media in Focus: Real Life


What is it in a sentence?

Real Life is an online publication about the symbiotic relationship between social media and the real world, exploring the way in which technology has become an intrinsic part of modern society.

How will this benefit me as a PR PRO?

Real Life publishes essays, arguments and narratives by various small writers which explores how our lives are mediated by technology. The publication looks at topics including the use of data exploitation and exploring the ways in which advertising influences the mind. Real Life is not a typical technology publication and its niche focus is essential for PR Pros. Attracting a new audience is an important part of the job, so taking a step back from traditional media and targeting a small publication with a loyal readership can be the thing you need to increase an audience base.

Real Life is funded by Snapchat, but runs without ads and has complete editorial independence. This support means that the magazine can put emphasis on the writing and writers, instead of clicks and advertising. The name is slightly ironic, as life through a screen is not necessarily ‘real-life’, but the contributors aim to show what real life has become with technology as an intrinsic part of it.

The online magazine is based in New York but publishes work from over one hundred contributors from around the world. The multicultural aspect of Real Life provides a diverse collection of information and experience that provides insight into the human experience with technology from around the world.

Who’s behind it?

Nathan Jurgenson is Editor-in-Chief. He is a sociologist and social media theorist who created Real Life in a bid to provide insight into the modern world and its relationship with technology. The magazine was named with the film Videodrome in mind, which Nathan first watched while studying sociology of knowledge and describes it as ‘the best film ever made about the internet’.

The magazine was created as a way to explore the fundamental shift in social life which now includes social media as an intrinsic part of everyday life. Nathan discusses the term digital dualism, which depicts the symbiotic relationship of real life and the online world working not as individuals but two pieces of the same puzzle.

What type of stories will I read there?

Real Life publishes stories covering issues from data exploitation and the experience economy to videogames vs reality and internet connected medical devices.

Some of the titles published by Real Life include:

‘Forest for the Trees

Even in the city, we are in nature, whether we like it or not’

‘The Next Big Cheap

Calling data “the new oil” takes its exploitation for granted’

‘Loitering Objects

Why are objects allowed to remain in public spaces where people aren’t?’

‘The Bones We Leave Behind

It’s not enough to make facial recognition illegal when its infrastructural legacy remains’


At MediaHQ, we are passionate about helping people maximise their media coverage. We have the contact details of every journalist, media outlet, producer and editor. If you’d like a demo on how to use the platform, email Gaye Gleeson on [email protected] or request your demo here.