BeReal doesn’t let users “be real”


Dev Sheth

BeReal, an app that promotes authenticity through prompting users to take a photo at a set time, is rising in popularity. Even though the app’s foundation is built on authenticity, staff reporter Aarya Oswal claims that BeReal isn’t as real as others make it out to be.

Aarya Oswal, Staff Reporter

You have two minutes left to capture a BeReal to see what your friends are up to, so do you click on the notification to post within the timer, or do you wait until something more exciting occurs during your day to post? Many go with the latter, and I, myself, have fallen victim to posting when it’s most convenient for me to do so. But doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of the latest social media fad?

BeReal slowly emerged just a few years ago, gaining popularity on college campuses first. Over the summer, however, the app found its way more and more into the hands of high school students as well. The whole concept of BeReal is to show the world the real you at the specific point in time in which you get the notification. 

But the app also has another unique feature not found in most other social media – users can only post unedited pictures. Social media has created a scenario where a lot of people are only posting the best version of themselves. People are trying to keep up with certain trends of physical appearance that social media becomes a place not to share what you are doing, but how you would like the world to see what you are doing.

This fake-online-persona which people craft over time can affect people’s mental health and perception of themselves. However, BeReal attempts to address this issue and redefines the term “social media”. The app won’t let you post from a third party application, and you can’t edit yourself or the picture you’ve taken so people ideally know that all users are posting authentic photos of themselves. 

This could lead to people to become less self-conscious about their own appearances and what they post. However, users still have the option to post after the 2 minute mark with the only “repercussion” being that people will know how long after the push notification did the person post. Additionally, if a user doesn’t like the picture they’ve taken, they can retake it up to as many times as they choose to do so, and even take down a previous post to replace it with another.

In this way, BeReal is just another social media for people to manipulate their audience into thinking what they are doing is “real,” when in reality it could all be set up to make the audience think what they want them to. Yes, it is unique in the sense that you have to post unedited versions of yourself, but that’s where it ends. 

Users can interact with “friends” via comments and reactions to posts, but it doesn’t even have direct messaging abilities as of right now. With limited interactions through the app, BeReal becomes boring. It may be exciting to post when you’re with your friends, but this may just follow the trend of other apps, and reach an inevitable decline in user enjoyment.