The Truth Behind BeReal

Charlotte McConathy, Managing Editor

It’s time to BeReal. The second this notification pops up on my phone, I am racing to take my picture and post before the two minute window ends. When I come back to the app a few hours later, I scroll through my feed, wondering to myself how do all of these people look so perfect all of the time?

BeReal is a new app that randomly prompts users to post a selfie within a two-minute time frame. This notification can go off at any time of day, but the ability to post remains possible past the time window. 

“I think it’s really interesting to see how we all take a moment out of our day to snap a picture,” senior Christiana Ussery said. “It’s kind of interesting to see how our generation is so fixated on social media and an image of who we are to others and how we try to make ourselves “picture perfect”.”

Another feature of the app allows friends to react to each other’s posts with real-time selfies. Also, users are able to retake their picture as many times as they want. This allows people to pick and choose how they look in the post. 

The app was designed to give people the chance to post their authentic selves, which is completely different from all other social media apps. On Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, people spend hours crafting the perfect post that highlights only the good aspects of their lives. However, BeReal was designed for the opposite purpose – to show a true moment without editing.

The app was released in 2020, but popularity boomed in the spring of 2022. Everybody talks about it–adults and kids alike. But as I scroll through my feed, authenticity is not what I notice. Honestly, the app has proven how people constantly edit themselves to show their “best” self rather than their authentic selves.

A poll was sent out to the student body, asking students to answer questions about the app. 57% of students admitted to posting later and not in the ‘real’ moment.

Pros of BeReal

“I like being able to see what my friends are doing in their day, whether they are having fun with friends or spending time with family,” Ussery said. “I also like reacting to their BeReals with a funny face.”

“I really like the way it started pushing against the need for only filtered and edited pictures to be posted,” junior Lydia Payne said. “It seems like it’s made a way for the internet to be reminded that not everything looks or is perfect.”

“I love the reactions that you can put on yours friends BeReals,” senior Kaylee Brousseau said. “They make the app more interactive and connective. It’s really fun.”

“There are no filters, no photoshop, and no expected time it’s gonna come out,” freshman Faith Olds said. “You have to take a picture of the exact moment you’re in, so you can’t fake being “perfect.”

Cons of BeReal

“It messes up and lags a lot,” sophomore Donovan Pennington said. “Also, a lot of people don’t show what they are doing. They just post a wall or a blank screen.”

“The app takes a long time to load sometimes and you miss the two minute mark,” junior Hadlee Scott said. “It can be frustrating when you’re doing something fun and it won’t work.”

“The app lacks a little bit in privacy,” freshman Kylee Wilkinson said. “The app doesn’t ask at the beginning if you want your location on or not, and some people don’t know how to turn it off. BeReal should implement better privacy or make it easier for users to access the privacy settings.”

“Seeing everyone retaking their BeReals is so obnoxious,” junior Olivia Gary said. “And getting a notification for each late one is annoying.”

 

Overall opinions of BeReal

“I feel like it is a very fun app and a better form of social media than Snapchat and other popular apps,” sophomore Tobias Burks said. “I genuinely enjoy the app and appreciate the fun I have.”

“I think maybe the idea was good, but you can never know what’s real and what’s not,” junior Alisa Thane said. “It kind of defeats the purpose of the app.”

“I like the app because I enjoy seeing what my friends and family are doing at the same time as me,” senior Homero Aparicio said. “Overall, it’s a very creative app and I’m happy I downloaded it.”

“Overall, I really like it. I don’t have snapchat, which is a popular app right now for kids in my grade, so for me BeReal does pretty much the same thing (with a few differences),” freshman Samantha McConathy said. “I post everyday, and probably still will even after I get Snapchat.”

“I think it’s a really fun app that has good intentions,” Payne said. “But like everything else, it’s started to just be another form of fake social media.”

 

     While the point of the app is to be real, let’s face it, the overall intention behind it is not being fulfilled by users. I would like to encourage people to stop caring what other people think of them, because in five years, that picture that was posted on Instagram where a hair is out of place will not matter. Attempt to post on time for the next BeReal, and maybe society will come to understand the true intent of the app.