Let’s BeReal

Lets+BeReal

Peyton Alch, Focus Editor

   In a society where there’s pressure to look and act a certain way, BeReal is attempting to respond by offering a more genuine approach to social media. 

   BeReal was founded by Alexis Barreyat in 2020, and though the app is two years old, it has substantially risen in popularity over the past few months. BeReal went from having around 900,000 users in July 2022, to 21.6 million users just a year later. 

   BeReal is a different approach to social media, promoting authenticity and encouraging people to live in the moment. Every day, BeReal sends a notification to users’ phones telling them it’s “Time to BeReal.” From there, you have two minutes to stop what you are doing and take your BeReal for the day. 

   “Overall, I think it’s kind of unique,” sophomore Connor Nanus said. “It’s a cool concept, I like how you can see the calendar, and how it gives you a picture each day you can look back on.”

   Freshman Ellison Clark just recently downloaded BeReal, and her first impressions of the app are positive. She said that it is a lot different from other social media apps and that she likes the genuine, realistic approach that BeReal provides. 

  “I like it,” Clark said. “It’s really nice because you don’t feel like you’re on social media. It’s what you’re doing right now, so it takes that unrealistic part away.”

   According to Nanus, for him, BeReal is less addicting as a whole. He will spend a maximum of 30 minutes on BeReal a day, which is substantially less than the amount of time he spends on other social media apps.

   “I’ll do the one a day and then react to a couple of people’s, but other than that it’s not really something I think you can really spend a lot of time on,” Nanus said. “You mostly just take your picture and then look at other people’s [posts].” 

   BeReal has changed the way people view social media. Its popularity has influenced people to use social media in a more casual way, which can help erase the unrealistic standards seen on other social media platforms. 

  “I feel like on other apps, you have to look really nice and presentable when you post but with BeReal, I feel like none of us look super put-together,” Clark said. “And it’s nice to see that.”

   Though BeReal’s whole point is to erase the obsession around perfection on social media, it may be promoting a different kind of performance. Many find it hard to tear away from old habits and be genuine on the app, forcing the question to emerge: To what extent are BeReal users actually being real?

   “When I first got it, I was really scared of it, because I wanted to look nice,” Clark said. 

   Other platforms have influenced people’s attitude toward social media, so it’s harder for people to be genuine on BeReal. Clark said that the more she uses it, the easier it is to abandon old ideals and embrace authenticity. 

   “Now I’ve kind of gotten rid of that pressure,” Clark said. “I don’t spend as much time thinking about it, so I’m not scared of it anymore.”

   Though BeReal is a milder version of social media, it is still entertaining and can be a good way to connect with friends and see a side of them that might not be as commonly seen on other social media platforms.  

    “Getting the notification is always so exciting,” Clark said. “Even if I’m not doing anything fun. It’s nice to see what everyone’s doing.”