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BeReal breaks down social media barriers


Seniors Ben Anderson and Harrison Armour, sophomore Jimmy Anderson and alumni Charlie Anderson take their BeReal at QuikTrip before going to see the new movie, “Smile.”

photo by Ben Anderson

 

It can be difficult to find sincerity these days. Filters, followers, likes and reposts are all commonalities found in traditional social media. Studies have been conducted on the way these features affect the human mind, and the entirety of them have come back negatively. The appeal of sharing one’s life with others remains despite the damage it does to people’s self esteem. BeReal is a new social media created specifically to remove the comparative aspect of posts and seeks to construct a safe space to connect with friends and family.

Once a day, BeReal delivers a notificationalertingitsusers:“It’stime to Be Real.” Users have two minutes to capture a picture with their front camera and back camera, showcasing what he or she is doing. If a person is unable to post within the time frame, their BeReal is labeled as “late.” Users must participate in order to view other’s posts.

“If I could change one thing about BeReal, I would make it so that if you miss the time when you are supposed to post, then you can’t post that day,” said sophomore Josie Webb.

BeReal’s popularity rose in the early months of 2022. It was first created by Alexis Barreyat, a former Go-Pro employee, in 2020. It took a while for the platform to get off the ground.

“I downloaded BeReal because it was growing. All of my friends were talking about it and kept telling me to get it,” Webb said.

Perhaps one of the main reasons the app is such a hit is due to its restrictions on filtering and fakeness. BeReal has placed multiple limits on usual tactics influencers use to promote their posts. For instance, when a BeReal is taken, it can be deleted and redone one time. After that, it is not possible to delete the post. By clicking on the three dots above someone’s picture, it is possible to see if and how many times he or she attempted the photo.

The app provides a fun and stress free way to catch up with friends and get a glimpse into their everyday lives. BeReal does not publicly display followers but shows mutual connections.

Another feature is called the Realmoji. People can react to their friends’ pictures by capturing a picture of their face, providing genuine emotion.

Teenagers became fascinated with the never-before-seen type of media BeReal presents, and the program has accumulated over 53 million downloads worldwide.

“When I first got BeReal, I remember thinking that it was really weird and scary. As more people got involved and I was able to see my friends, it became a lot of fun,” said Webb.

Everyday, users wait in anticipation of the notification. This app is paving the way for a new space in social media and online presence. It proves people can gain enjoyment and connection from simply being real.

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