How Real is BeReal?

Nadia Provencher, Staff Writer

“Time to BeReal. 2 min left to capture a BeReal and see what your friends are up to!” That’s the notification millions of teens receive everyday, all at the same time. With the mission of providing a less toxic social media environment, BeReal has gained insane popularity.

When the user opens the app, they will come to a camera where they take a picture with both their front and back facing camera. After the photo is taken, it is posted on a feed where they can see their friends BeReals. 

The concept of the app was to show what the users were doing right there at that very moment. Trying to create an app that was more… real. 

The app first launched in 2020 but took flight during the months of April through August. Making BeReal the #1 app on Apple’s “App Store” for the entire month of August.  I asked students if they had BeReal installed on their phones. 78% answered yes and of that percentage, 67% stated they downloaded the app this summer. 

Though BeReal’s rapid growth in popularity is impressive, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. BeReal’s whole message is that they are different and healthier than other social media platforms. But, I was curious, how good of a job do they really do?

A poll was sent through the School Messenger to all students on November 4, 2022 asking, “Do you think BeReal is less toxic than other social media apps?” 

With over 650 responses, 64% of the students responded: YES. 

One student commented: “There is less pressure to look perfect and since you only have 2 minutes to do it; there is less stress to get the perfect picture.”

But what about the other 36%? When these students were asked why they believe BeReal isn’t any less toxic they didn’t hold back. 

“I think a lot of BeReal is actually just as fake as the rest of social media. Yes, there are time stamps so that you can see if people ignored the actual notification time, but people still only post the highlight of their day,” said Izzy McInyre. “You never see pics of people who’ve just woken up, who just took a shower, who are getting ready for bed.” It’s true, one can post a late BeReal. Ignore the notification until you’re doing something you believe people would deem as interesting or fun. 

Everyone has their opinion on the app. Do me one favor though, the next time you go to “be real” ask yourself, how real are you actually being?