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Can We Really Be Real?

It's time to BeReal!, my phone notifies me. Randomly, once a day, all BeReal users get the same warning, at the same instant. Then, with two minutes on the timer, people rush to capture their BeReal. I have seen the sheer panic on people's faces, rushing to their friends to get the perfect shot.

BeReal is an app that gives you two minutes to take a picture, using both the front and back cameras together, to give your followers a glimpse of what you are doing at that exact moment. Only once you post your picture, can you see what your friends have posted.

This app blew up in the early summertime. In the age of the “casual Instagram”, the concept makes total sense. People are sick of curated feeds, flooded with perfectly posed and edited posts. Every social media platform seems to be embracing candid, casual, authentic posts, so BeReal seems like the perfect concept. But are people on BeReal really being real?

To ensure spontaneous posts, BeReal makes even makes the number of retakes per picture visible. Despite all their efforts, personally, my BeReal is almost never an authentic candid. When the notification goes off, my heart skips a beat. I scramble to fix my hair and find the perfect spot to take. I make sure everything fits the balance of looking good, but not too planned. I strive to achieve the careless aesthetic, which really takes a lot of care. If my picture is not right, I simply do not post, literally defeating the entire purpose of the app.

Obviously, the app can't truly confirm that users are being real. Despite this, people seem to like the concept, as the app has been successful.

While the concept of the app is nice, it is inherently a bit boring. Seeing pictures of your friends wearing a messy bun while watching TV is definitely not exciting. Therefore, I would understand if BeReal is a fad and not a long lasting social media platform. For now, I will continue using the app, but only time will tell.