In Life, Interrupted: The 100 Day Project by Suleika Jaouad, she describes her writing practice of keeping a journal during her time of illness. Now that she has healed, she is going on a road trip to meet the strangers who responded to her writing while she was ill.
In the following quote she uses the imagined fourth wall in reference to the web. Usually readers will see references to the fourth wall in theatre, film, and/or television and not about human relationships that begin using social media. This calls to mind, IRL, which is an acronym for In Real Life.
Now, I’m taking the time to respond to some of the people who wrote to me when I was I was sick — not online or by snail mail, but in person. I want to know more about their stories. I want to know what happens when the fourth wall of the web is broken, when the shiny screen that protects us from actual human interaction is lifted. And more than anything, I want to say thank you. I suspect there is a lot I can learn from them as I try to pick up the pieces of my own life.