Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Texting & Messaging What Does RL Mean in Texting? by Paul Gil Writer Paul Gil, a former Lifewire writer who is also known for his dynamic internet and database courses and has been active in technology fields for over two decades. our editorial process Paul Gil Updated on December 11, 2019 Caiaimage Tom Merton/Getty Images Texting & Messaging Email Texting & Messaging Video Calls Tweet Share Email The abbreviation RL stands for "real life" in the truncated parlance of the internet. It is used to reference "my other responsibilities" or "what I do when I am not on the computer." A variation is IRL, which stands for "in real life." RL is a common expression among groups that spend significant online time together, such as IM chat buddies, online gamers, and people who work on virtual teams. RL can also be used in lowercase letters. Examples of RL Usage First user: Come on... let's run another dungeon. Just for an hour! Second user: Sry, man, RL is calling. If I don't cook dinner for the kids now, they'll hassle me all night for macaroni and cheese. Third user: LOL! RL is overrated, and you have too many kids anyways, hahaha Another Example theRanger: What do you do irl? Queequeg: Well, I used to be a cruise director. But now I'm unemployed theRanger: What happened? Queequeg: The boat sank theRanger: :^O Queequeg: FML Although the RL expression has begun to filter into colloquial communications in modern English, like some other internet abbreviations and memes online, its meaning may still be unknown to many. It should not be used in any formal or professional discourse.