New social media platforms are always exciting to try out. Taking a break from the ol’ Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. is a nice change.
Take, for example, TikTok. Sure, it is a spin of the previously known Musically, but the new platform is a major hit in the social media world. According to a data collecting site called data.ai, the amount of time users spend on the app has been increasing by around 210% each year, and this usage growth is expected to continue into 2023. We’re really “TikToking” our time away…
And now, the newest trending app, BeReal or what I like to call “BeReally…,” is downloaded on the phones of many young individuals.
What is BeReal?
BeReal is a photo-sharing app that allows and notifies users to post one photo per day to show their followers. It is meant to influence people to be more authentic by taking away heavily filtered photos and asking them to present themselves as they are in that moment, or to “be real.”
So, for those that don’t know how the app works because you still haven’t downloaded it, never will download it, or still have no idea what I am talking about; the app takes a picture with the front camera and back camera at roughly the same time and posts it on a feed for followers to see.
Each day, the platform spits out a notification that alerts users when it is time to “be real” and allows them two minutes to take the photo. When the two minutes are up, you can still take your photos and post them to the feed, but it will let your followers know you weren’t being real. Also, it shows your followers how many times you retook the photos.
The coolest thing about the app, in my opinion, is that it generates a calendar and plops your BeReal post in there each day. It is sort of like Snapchat memories, you can travel back in time to July 18, 2022, and reminisce on what you were doing on that day.
My personal experience with BeReal
I downloaded the app at the beginning of the summer, when the craze of it began to pick up, and I actively posted for a week. I have to admit, it was fun seeing what my friends were doing during random times of the day when we all had busy schedules, and I also was excited to show everyone what I was doing.
After about a week, however, I stopped caring about the daily notification that popped up on my phone and eventually began to ignore it. A few weeks later, I was so annoyed by the notification I deleted the app entirely.
I think the hazard emoji signs in the notification are what made me have a tiny sting of anxiety every time it popped up on my phone, and I don’t need any more things that worry me, I have enough of those as a college student.
I found that I eventually stopped looking at everyone’s BeReal posts and only monitored my own. In all honesty, it made me a little sad looking at the fun some were having while I was stuck working 40-hour weeks at a desk, in my home, with nobody around most hours of the day.
Deleting the app was a good move for me. I found that I did not miss it or its daily hold.
Weirdly, I didn’t tell anyone I deleted it right away. I kind of felt left out when all of my friends were together and talked about others’ posts that day and I had no idea what they were talking about. That feeling didn’t last very long though.
Soon after shaking that feeling, I remember the first time I was around my friends and the notification that it was “time to be real” went off. I was immediately uncomfortable by my friends all simultaneously grabbing their phones, and holding them in different angles, and making weird poses, and taking photos, and then resuming normal conversation. I remember the first time it happened, I felt like I was in an episode of Black Mirror.
Are BeReal users really being real?
Straight up answer, no. I wasn’t even being real all of the time while I used the app. Granted, I knew I didn’t look great because I worked from home and didn’t try to look decent, so any photo I took I was being semi real, but, with no shame, I would retake the photo in a heartbeat if I didn’t look good enough.
The one thing I can say I didn’t do was wait for a time to post my BeReal to make myself look “cooler.” Yes, I didn’t take it on time, every time, but that was entirely by accident, or I was too lazy.
On a side note, some of you may be thinking, ‘wow, she was too lazy to take a single photo?’ Well, yes, because that app was a pain in the rear. The app glitched and lagged so badly when tried to take my photo on time, the timer would run out before I could even take it.
Back to people who wait to post their BeReal, I think that is my biggest pet peeve with people who use the app. They are purposefully not being real and waiting for an event or party to show how cool and sociable they are. It totally defeats the purpose of the app.
Add that to my Black Mirror episode comment, you can start to see how cringey the app really is.
So, my advice to those who have not downloaded the app yet, you might want to keep it that way.