BeReal explodes in popularity

BeReal, a social media app released in 2020, exploded this summer and now has over 10 million daily users. BeReal encourages users to post photos of themselves and their lives without filters, editing or retaking to get the perfect shot. The clear point of the app is to bring “realness” back to social media, but the question remains: are teenagers actually being real?

Like most social media platforms, when users initially download BeReal, they are able to add friends. However, as opposed to other platforms, once per day, users are alerted to take a photo of what they are doing at that exact moment and have only two minutes to do so to avoid a “posted late” tag. The app simultaneously takes a picture from the front and rear camera. After uploading an image, users can see what their friends have posted.

BeReal was designed to restore online “realness,” promoting authenticity at a time when modified and intentionally curated photos are frequently posted to social media. A person may feel reasonably sure when browsing BeReal that the images are less likely to be fabrications of reality.

Senior Ariana Anaya believes BeReal has a purpose that users should stick to. As opposed to many students who despise classroom lighting, she takes her BeReal even when the notification goes off during class.

“A lot of people are doing it on time and are actually being real, but there are also some that just fake it,” said Anaya. 

Some students choose to wait until they are doing something “fun” rather than take their picture at the correct time. While the app was intended to increase authenticity, for some students, it has only brought a need to look their best within two minutes and make their life look interesting. Many students believe that BeReal has essentially become a competition as to who is doing the “coolest” thing with the most people, defeating its purpose. 

“People wait to be with their friends,” said junior Noah Shapiro. “People are waiting to take their BeReal to show that they’re doing something cool.” 

Although the app has become a favorite for many teens, only time will tell how dedicated users are to truly being real.