In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age

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Overview

From the host of MTV's #1 show Catfish comes the definitive guide about how to connect with people authentically in today's increasingly digital world.

IN REAL LIFE: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age

As the host of the wildly popular TV series Catfish which investigates online relationships to determine whether they are based on truth or fiction (spoiler: it's almost always fiction).

Nev has become ...

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In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age

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Overview

From the host of MTV's #1 show Catfish comes the definitive guide about how to connect with people authentically in today's increasingly digital world.

IN REAL LIFE: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age

As the host of the wildly popular TV series Catfish which investigates online relationships to determine whether they are based on truth or fiction (spoiler: it's almost always fiction).

Nev has become the Dr. Drew of online relationships. His clout in this area springs from his own experience with a deceptive online romance, about which he made a critically acclaimed 2010 documentary (also called Catfish). In that film Nev coined the term "catfish" to refer to someone who creates a false online persona to reel someone into a romantic relationship. The meme spread rapidly.

Now Nev brings his expertise to the page, sharing insider secrets about:

-what motivates catfish
-why people fall for catfish
-how you can avoid being deceived
-rules for dating — both online and off
-how to connect authentically with others over the internet
-how to turn an online relationship into a real-life relationship

...and much, much more.

Peppered throughout with Nev's personal stories, this book delves deeply into the complexities of online identity. Nev shows us how our digital lives are affecting our real lives, and provides essential advice about how we should all be living and loving in the era of social media.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/28/2014
Schulman first entered the public eye as the main subject of his sleeper hit documentary Catfish (2010), in which he unwittingly gets involved romantically online with a lonely, midde-aged woman from rural Michigan. Currently the host of the MTV reality show of the same name and similar premise, the author zeroes in on his field of expertise—the so-called “catfish” (a term coined by the author)—which he defines as someone who pretends to be someone else on the internet, “particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” According to the author, such a person, often the object of scorn once outed, is motivated by a desire for social acceptance and is far more relatable than one might expect, a fact which is illustrated with a pack of profiles from his show. The book is at once a memoir, a meditation on a truly unique phenomenon of the internet age, and a motivational address for anyone seeking virtual companionship. Schulman cautions his readers against lying on their social media profiles, and argues instead for improving “offline” life. “Embrace who you really are, both online and off” is the message at the heart of his book. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Nev is a great philosopher of the internet and thereby a critical voice for our generation. Whether or not you're a Catfish fan, In Real Life is a must-read and shows us the opportunities and pitfalls that are part of the digital era. Nev makes it plain and simple: the power of the keyboard is now mightier than the sword."—Matthew Segal, founder of OurTime.org

"IN REAL LIFE is so much more than a book about online dating. It's about self-acceptance and being true to yourself in a world where you're influenced by so many people over the internet."—Jonathan Bennett, host of MTV's Copycat

"What I find most exciting about IN REAL LIFE is how it explores the Internet's impact on our perception of gender and sexuality, and how we portray our digital selves to the world to that end. As a fellow millennial, I'm constantly trying to adapt to how the digital age is molding our ideas of love and relationships. In Real Life does not attempt to define these ever-changing terms but instead works to understand them."—Kim Stolz, author of Unfriending My Ex

"Finally someone has written a smart and funny guide that helps young people navigate social media without letting it take over their lives."—Maude Apatow, actress and twitter personality

"Nev's book begins as a fun journey into the world of lying on the internet, but it extrapolates into the larger phenomenon of avatars — everybody has one on social networks."—James Franco for Vice magazine

"The book is at once a memoir, a meditation on a truly unique phenomenon of the internet age, and a motivational address for anyone seeking virtual companionship. Schulman cautions his readers against lying on their social media profiles, and argues instead for improving "offline" life. "Embrace who you really are, both online and off" is the message at the heart of his book."—Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-13
Searching for the overlap of our online selves and our "real life" selves. It wasn't all that long ago that the words "Internet dating" were a badge of dishonor, considered the last-ditch effort for single men and women. Of course, with the Internet now entirely fluid in popular culture, it becomes easy to misrepresent yourself online. Catfish is the MTV series started by Schulman (itself an extension of his earlier documentary of the same name), someone who fell hook, line and sinker for online dating deception. With this book, the author aspires to create an extension of that show, to "dig into the deeper issues that motivate" such deception and that motivate anyone who spends significant time on their online relationships. Schulman makes inroads deep into armchair-quarterbacking territory with broad psychological generalizations that seem derived from his own experience and the carefully chosen examples his show has chosen to feature. A section titled "Fear" declares, "No duh, right? Hiding behind a fake profile is a pretty good sign that someone is terrified of being themselves." Catfish fans could take umbrage at a reviewer pulling a quote that makes Schulman an easy target, but every page is peppered with bromides that offer little in the way of useful insight, aimed more at establishing the author as, in his words, "a guru on digital love." There are islands of good advice, however—e.g., "invest in creating the content of your life" rather than a well-curated Facebook timeline—but more than half the book is more concerned with Schulman's positioning himself as a guru than attaining any depth. Another quote from the book, one more telling about "catfishing," comes from comedian Marc Maron, who said that every status update is essentially a plea: "Would someone please acknowledge me?"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455584291
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 80,787
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nev Schulman

Nev Schulman is the host of MTV's #1 series, Catfish, which 2.6 million people watch in the U.S., plus millions more worldwide in 25 other countries.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Great handbook for e-dating and social media matching for Gen Mi

    Great handbook for e-dating and social media matching for Gen Millennial. If you only know Nev from the Catfish TV show not the movie, then you don't really know him at all.
    His own story of being "Catfished" as we all say these days, really lets you in on who this man is away from the sweet and funny MTV host side. This is do's and don't's from a man that actually went through the fire and was burnt and he's brutally honest about why it happened.
    I compare it to Data, A Love Story by Amy Webb and the book Ho Tactis: How To MindF**K a Man, in terms of the various run downs of social media and how to use it the right way. In terms of genuine writing, it is very engaging, and surprisingly personal look at the future of romance. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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