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Are we actually being real on BeReal?

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A considerable amount of time goes into every social post, whether that be thinking about what pictures to post, what caption to use, or any last-minute touch-ups to the lighting. 

What about an app where there isn’t enough time to pose or think?

That’s where BeReal comes in.

A friend recently told me about an app where you only post once a day, and you have to post at the same time as everyone else, at a random time selected by the creators of the app. This is the concept of BeReal. 

Last spring BeReal became a worldwide phenomenon and by now, BeReal has “passed 50 million installs worldwide,” according to Sensor Tower, an app analytics firm. Even though it’s still behind compared to other social media apps like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, its install rate continues to grow everyday.

One of the primary reasons why BeReal has exploded in popularity is because many people think that other social media platforms are too staged. 

“Instagram is the only app that I feel people are pressured to look a certain way, and I think that’s just because of the type of content that is posted on the app, as well as the people who are on the app,” second-year Meena Kuduva said in a text. “Most people only post photos that show the most exciting parts of their lives.”

While it’s great that Instagram lets us see what our friends are doing and follow up on our favorite celebrities, it is also causing the downfall of our self-esteem. 

When we surround ourselves with perfect photos of other people trying to display how perfect their lives are, we have the urge to do the same thing.

This leads to most people not posting at all, and, instead, opting to wait to post that perfect picture or weekend getaway. 

But is BeReal a good way to counteract this?

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“I use BeReal so much more than the other [social media apps], because it feels so much more casual,” Kuduva said. “There’s a lot less pressure to post and look a certain way.”

While Instagram has allowed us to prevent people from seeing the number of likes and views a post gets, it doesn’t completely get rid of the pressure associated with the app. 

BeReal, on the other hand, has countermeasures to hold people accountable on whether or not they’re staging their posts. Some of these include showing how late they were to post or the number of times it took for them to post.

However, is this enough to keep BeReal from becoming the new Instagram?

While there seems to be less pressure because the app encourages people to merely document their daily activities rather than pose them, some people have still found ways around this. 

If the BeReal notification comes too early in the morning or while doing something insignificant, people will wait to open the app until they’re doing something interesting.

It’s as if people are forcing BeReal down the same road as Instagram.

But it doesn’t seem likely that BeReal will become the new Instagram anytime soon. The creators noticed the mistakes other social media apps were making, and deliberately built an app to emulate the good parts of social media — seeing what’s really happening in people’s lives. This will continue to push toward the goal of being real on social media.

This app is a breath of fresh air, and over 50 million people worldwide seem to agree with me.

Reach writer Fiona Paterson at opinion@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @fiona_326

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