It’s Time to ‘Be Real’ About BeReal

The New Social Media Craze and Everything You Need to Know

Chittesh Saravanan, Staff Writer

“Guys! BeReal just dropped.”

“Will you take my BeReal?”

“I totally forgot to BeReal today!”

No doubt, these might be words you’ve heard shouted during class or exchanged between your peers in the hallways this semester. Words of excitement; words of urgency.

BeReal is a new social media platform, craze even, that everyone’s been hearing about. Once every 24 hours, a notification drops for all owners of the app. 2 minutes, one photo. Be real.

Some people praise it and some people hate it, and at HEHS, it’s no different.

“I love BeReal. New favorite social media app,” said Shree Patel, senior. “Unlike other apps, where I can take a picture whenever with whatever filter and post it at any time, BeReal is not like that.”

The raw spontaneity of BeReal is what attracts new audiences. Another reason why people love the app is the new approach to keeping social media authentic. Samrita Vinu, senior, feels that.

“BeReal is new and innovative and shows what you’re actually doing on a day-to-day basis and not just what’s on Instagram,” she said,

On the other hand, some view the app as a blatant copy of what already exists. A new trend that pretends to be “real” when it might just be like all the others. Creators of media platforms started off with the intention to bridge the gap between people but possibly could have made the gap wider.

Alex Robledo, senior and local Youth Advocates for Change leader, spoke on how the discourse about the app makes her feel.

“I guess the way that it’s being talked about makes me kinda sad. I see it as a way to support relationships, friendships, and keep up with the people in my life at any given moment,” she said. “And the way it’s being portrayed in a negative light makes me [lose hope] for the future of society. The way it’s seen as a ‘lab rat social media experiment’ takes away from its intentions.”

This causes arguments on the authenticity of BeReal, such as the concept of posting late.

“People can see if you post late, how many times you retake your picture, and you can know if they’re really ‘being real’ that day or not,” said Robledo. The argument stands that ‘being real’ involves posting on time, every day, no matter what you’re doing. Some feel as if the app tries to push this, but ultimately fails.

“It’s a fad. It’s fun but I don’t think it should be as much of a conversation as it is. They’re winning and we’re losing. But, it’s free so who cares?” said Rylee Johnson, senior and Homecoming Honoree.

Clearly, authenticity is not really so important to some. BeReal happens to be another social media app where they’re having fun. Sarah You, senior and Homecoming Honoree, offers her thoughts.

“It’s a silly little app where I can see my silly little friends and their silly little selfies and they can see mine and it’s just a cute little trend,” she said.

Social media was created to increase connectivity and many feel that if BeReal is approached with this attitude, the app can be used to its fullest extent. The app’s spontaneity and simplicity appeals to so many that there’s much potential for more connections. 

“It focuses more on the transient moments of your life and the ‘cool kids’ have it,” said You. “The preppies, the ‘it’ crowd has it, the yippies, the social media freaks. Myself included. It’s for everyone. If they’re willing.”

However, because it has spread so far so fast and we’ve established that posting occurs how and when you want it to and retakes are possible, perhaps there really is no separating this one from all the other apps.

“I think it’s another representation of how social media has taken over our lives. In a bad way. In a good way?” Johnson said.

But thinking about already established apps, Tanisha Paul, senior, added, “It’s authentic, compared to Instagram and Snapchat, that’s for sure.”

So perhaps it is succeeding, perhaps it’s not, but since the app is an experience accessible to anyone and everyone, the authenticity of it all must start with each person. You choose the way it’s taken, you choose how real you can be, and you choose what to believe about others trying the same.

When asked about BeReal, freshman reporter Kuba Scigalski countered my line of questioning with one of his own, asking, “Isn’t the point of the app to be authentic… no matter what?”

This is when Rylee Johnson responded to him across the room, with a subtle shrug:

“That’s how they get you.”