Be Real. Is Not Being Real

Be Real. Is Not Being Real

Siena McGarrigle, Co-Editors In Chief

In the past couple of years, internet users have pushed for social media content to become more authentic and relatable. The demand for genuine content set the stage for the new French social media app, BeReal., to take the internet by storm. 

The premise of the app is for users to show realistic snippets of their lives by posting a picture at a daily randomized time. The app will send a notification when it is “time to be real”, and users are given a time frame of two minutes to snap a picture from their front and back cameras and to upload it before their post is considered late. 

In theory, the app is a creative way to fill the demand for a social media platform with realistic content. However, in practice, BeReal. is a terribly designed app whose existence proves it is impossible to create a photo-sharing platform with authentic content. 

The purpose of the app creates the biggest design flaw of BeReal. If all the users on the app are expected to post content at the same time every day, there are bound to be technical difficulties. The app is not capable of handling the traffic that the daily BeReal. notification generates. When a user uploads their BeReal., it either takes several minutes to post, or the app crashes and the photo is lost. 

In addition to the design, users on the app are not “being real”. When I see my peers receive the BeReal. notification, many of them make an effort to pose and take several selfies before posting the one they look the best in. 

Most of the time, people don’t actually post when they see the notification. Instead, they wait until they look more presentable or until they are hanging out with their friends to post. Using BeReal. to present only the highlights of each day defeats the purpose of the app and gives users a false sense of reality. 

Though BeReal. has become wildly popular in a short amount of time, it is merely a trend. The app itself does not have the quality or staying power to last more than a few months. 

While it may be fun to post on BeReal, scrolling through the app’s content is mundane. This is to be expected, as BeReal.’s media is supposed to reflect people’s day-to-day lives. The majority of posts show users going about their day at school, work or home, which doesn’t make for a particularly exciting feed.

Not only is the app boring, but the concept for BeReal. is too simple, allowing it no room to grow as a social media platform. 

Instagram, one of the most used apps in the world, started as a platform for photo sharing among mutual friends and followers. Instagram remained relevant in the face of competition from other social media apps by evolving to include features such as Instagram stories, live streams and reels. The concept of sharing a photo at a daily randomized time is too straightforward and leaves the platform with little to no capacity to grow.

I admit BeReal is a creative way to stay in touch with friends by sharing daily glimpses of each other’s lives. However, BeReal. fails to fight the nature of social media and is too flawed to make a lasting impact on the internet.