Roisin Kiberd: ‘It might not be love that keeps us typing. It might be mutual boredom, or loneliness’

In an extract from her powerful new book The Disconnect, the Irish author writes about the internet and its shadowy role in shaping her relationships

6th March, 2021
Roisin Kiberd: ‘It might not be love that keeps us typing. It might be mutual boredom, or loneliness’
Roisin Kiberd’s book, The Disconnect: A Personal Journey through the Internet, is out now. Photo: Tessy Ehiguese

My first email to you is dated 3 October 2016. Since then, we’ve exchanged 1,681 more. In the beginning, threads would drop off after ten or fifteen messages. Then it was twenty, seventy, ninety; layer upon layer of text, links, pictures, in-jokes and, for me at least, unspoken desperation.

I carried your ghost on a screen in my pocket. I think I might even have summoned your tulpa. You existed to me as words, alerts and...

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