Exploring the Joys and Pitfalls of Online Connection: Chris Stedman

Break out a pen and notebook, because today on For the Love, we’re going back to school with writer and professor Chris Stedman, our next guest in the For the Love of Reconnecting series. A former chaplain at Harvard and founding director of the Yale Humanist Community, Chris just wrote a fascinating book called IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives. He’s a millennial who grew up fluent in the digital world but didn’t have a smartphone that tethered him to the internet until after his formative years, when a post he wrote went viral and steered him toward building a platform online. The internet of today is definitely not the one Chris grew up with—it’s no longer something we log in and out of. Chris and Jen talk about the beauty of finding and building community online and expanding our circles of belonging, but also why it’s so important to disconnect from tech every once in a while, because we discover things about ourselves in the silence of retreat that we may not see otherwise. And while sometimes the internet can seem like a place teeming with chaos, Chris reminds us that we have the power to choose how *we* engage with technology, that we control our devices—not the other way around.