Students keep it Real with a new Social Media App

New social media app promotes authenticity online

BeReal was a social media platform originally released in 2020, that recently gained popularity, specifically with many teenagers. According to Glamour.com, the app was created to compete with Instagram, but designed to avoid addiction. BeReal’s main function is as a photo-sharing app that notifies its users to post once a day to show their friends what they are currently doing.

The app gives its users two minutes after the notification comes through to take a picture and post it. 

Freshman Heidi Steinman says she appreciates that the app focuses on authenticity.

“I feel like the point of it is that it is out of nowhere, so you don’t get to plan for it like you do for pictures,” Steinman said. “You can’t get ready for a BeReal. [If] you look like you just woke up out of bed, why don’t you just take it. It’s not like I have [time] to put 15 layers of makeup on and eyelashes.”

According to Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence, over 53 million people have installed BeReal globally. 

Freshman Aaliyah Ambrose says the app is similar to Snapchat.

“It’s very different from the other [apps] because it’s a daily thing and it tells you when to do it,” Ambrose said. “My favorite thing is that you take a front photo and a back photo, and my least favorite thing is that you don’t get to choose when you do it, it just tells you when to do it, and you do it.”

BeReal is the antidote to social media perfection, according to Glamour.com. And by reducing the need to be perfect, it is also reducing addiction to the app.

“For me, yes, [social media is addicting],” freshman Kera Kettle said. “I like social media. Imagine this, you’re watching Netflix, you have TikTok pulled up, and you’re eating a snack. That’s the best thing ever. [I’m not addicted to BeReal]. I could delete the app, and live without it.”

On other social media apps, you have the chance to scroll endlessly for hours at a time. BeReal notifies you once a day and only gives you minutes to post. This allows for less time on the app.

“[I spend] 4 hours and 12 minutes [on social media],” Ambrose said. “[I spend] 39 seconds [on BeReal]. Well I mean all you do is take pictures.”

Another difference from other social media platforms is BeReal focuses on sharing pictures with close friends. Most users have less friends on the app than other social media platforms. This prevents the opportunity for online bullying.

“I think [social media] definitely has positives and negatives,” Lily Caldwell said. “It’s good for meeting new people, and strengthening relationships with people you might not know as well. [But] you don’t have to say anything face to face, so there can also be cyberbullying.”