Zine Review: Real Life: A Magical Guide to Getting Off the Internet

Real Life: A Magical Guide to Getting Off the Internet
Maranda Elizabeth & Dave Cave

Real Life is a ¼ sized black and white zine about taking a look at how much you use the internet and how to step away when you’re using it too much.

“Take a deep lung-cleansing breath and take full ownership of your habit.” – Dave Cave

I really love when I read a zine at the right time in my life. This one comes with very good timing as I’ve grown unhappy with my recent habit of checking emails and such before I even get out of bed in the morning.

Real Life opens with introductions from Maranda and Dave, followed by a piece called ‘What Would You Rather Be Doing?’ that really sets the tone for this zine.

The thing that really struck me from the get go in Real Life was the levels of self-awareness and self-examination in this zine. They both look at the internet as it is: a multifaceted thing that gives us many things on many different levels. Coping, validation, both positive and negative impacts on mental health, and more.

I appreciated that Maranda and Dave, while definitely leaning away from internet usage, still accept its role in our lives in a modern world. It’s not a ‘burn your computers’ condemnation of the internet as a whole but rather a deep examination of what the internet gives us to get us to the point where we know we’d rather be doing something else but yet still don’t close down our computers.

Dave’s tips for breaking internet habits (especially lovely for the list-makers of the world) and Maranda’s ‘Try This’ suggestions are a bit intimidating to me to actually try. However, that just says that I am spending too much time online. Along with many, many questions with which you can examine your own reasons for using the internet and how much you use it, this zine could be a spectacular starting point if you want to check in with yourself regarding why and how much you use the internet.

I highly recommend this zine – even if you haven’t been questioning your internet usage. It can be good to examine that which we take for granted.

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