What’s the Deal with BeReal?

Olivia Yetman

Whether you want to admit it or not, most of us have been guilty of wasting hours scrolling or posting on social media, or of letting what we see there affect our mood and our self-image. If we take a step back, we might realize that what we’re actually looking at a lot of the time is other people’s highlight reels- not their actual life. I know sometimes I’m tempted to only post the Instagram-worthy aspects of my life. These unrealistic expectations have been shown to fuel anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, so it’s no wonder a new app that encourages users to be more authentic and unfiltered is taking Gen Z by storm. But beware- it seems to be a love it or hate it type of situation so far. 

BeReal has become quite popular in 2022 among 9-24 year olds, growing by 315% since the beginning of the year, according to data from Apptopia. Right now, Facebook and Instagram are still the top dogs when it comes to the most popular social media apps, but an app with this much growth is definitely worth keeping your eye on, especially as we’re seeing younger people leaving Facebook. BeReal could be a way to reach the younger generations and give them more of the real content they are craving. The goal of BeReal is to shake up the typical social media game by reducing time spent on social media and decreasing the pressure to look or present yourself as perfect at all times. 

How The BeReal App Works

If you’re wondering how BeReal is accomplishing these goals, let me explain how it works. You get a notification from the app once a day letting you know it’s the time to post your BeReal. The notification comes at different times each day, and everyone gets the notifications at the same time. You then have two minutes to post. You’re supposed to capture what you’re doing at that exact moment. Your back-facing camera takes a picture of what you’re looking at/doing and at the same time your front-facing camera is taking a picture of you- and here’s the catch- you can’t see what anyone else posts until you upload your daily photo. The first time I took my picture I had no idea what to expect…I may or may not have screamed a bit after seeing what the picture looked like. There are no filters or any other ways to alter your picture. If you’re late on posting your BeReal, it will let your friends know and it also shows if you’ve retaken your picture (another way they are teaching you to be real).

Set It & Forget About It

BeReal definitely feels like a set it and forget it type of app, which I’m enjoying, as well as the fact that there are no algorithms, so I don’t have to sift through multiple posts from the same people who post every day. I think it’s awesome that BeReal is working to reprogram our ideas of social media, making the experience feel more connected, real, and organic. A really cool feature is that you can’t just hit “like” or “love,” you use “realmojis,” your own face to show your reaction to a friend’s content. How wonderful for those times there’s not an emoji just perfect for the situation!

BeReal For Broadcasters

Where the radio industry is concerned, I can see BeReal being a really fun and useful way for DJs and artists to connect to fans. It could be used to give listeners a real behind-the-scenes picture of what life is like and the unfiltered side of show biz. This platform has the potential to help you build friendships and community in less time and with more transparency than any other social media network I’ve seen so far, but there are some downfalls. Since you don’t get to choose when you post, there are a lot of times you get the notification when you’re not available or just doing something you don’t necessarily want a picture of. I personally am wondering how long I’ll want to deal with the stress of unexpectedly getting the notification to post and feeling the pressure to get it done quickly enough to see my friend’s posts. Do I really need a social media platform that adds to my anxiety?? Time will tell if this will be an app that loses its novelty after a little while, or if the benefits outweigh the hurdles to use. 

If you want to give it a try for yourself you can download it for free on android and iOS. Come back and let us know what you think about it. 

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