By Kaden Boock
BeReal was an app created in the hopes of providing a platform for people to share the unfiltered and real moments with their friends, but it didn’t take long for it to go the way of many other social media platforms in a negative light. There are so many social media platforms that focus on gaining attention, likes, and comments, and our society has become extremely focused on showing off and being the best. Most forms of social media have turned into a highlight reel that we use to show off our most exciting moments and make our lives seem as great as possible. The thought of having an app that encourages you to run away from that need for validation was refreshing.
BeReal really started to take off in early 2022, and I downloaded the app as did many others. The app sends you a notification once a day at a different random time to “BeReal.” You’re then supposed to take a picture of whatever you’re doing at that time and upload it in under two minutes. Once you post your BeReal, you can see all of your friends’ BeReals as they post them as well, and they would remain posted until the notification went off the following day. I loved the concept around the app, and I remember trying to get several of my friends to download it. Quickly after I began using the app, I started to see more people that I knew popping up in my recommendations to add all the time, and I questioned how long the app would keep its original purpose. I was confident that the more people began to add each other, the more people would begin to be more conscious of what they were posting and try to make their lives look more interesting.
It didn’t take long for my suspicions to become true. At first, my friends and myself were mostly all posting on time and keeping it real with whatever we were doing, no matter how embarrassing or unflattering the moment was. However, I quickly noticed that after adding more people, the vibes on the app were hurriedly changing. People began to post several hours late a lot of times, and they seemed to wait until they were doing something that would look cool or exciting. I even began to notice myself doing this at times, and after a while it seemed like hardly anyone was actually posting on time anymore or being real and genuine.
Even on an app called BeReal, the need to be fake and make our lives look better than they are quickly took over. I find BeReal to be a very telling story of how our generation tends to think. We’ve all grown up with technology for essentially our entire lives, and social media has transformed our society in a lot of ways. The desire to try and impress others and put out the best versions of ourselves is everywhere online. So many social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter breed competitiveness and jealousy. I think these platforms have warped many young people’s brains in many ways, because we now seek validation so much more, and have more ways to find insecurities and feel bad about ourselves.
Although social media can be a great thing, it’s important to find balance and not let it blur our concept of reality. We can’t live our lives by comparing it to others, because we’re always going to want things that others have and we can’t have it all. It’s not fair to compare someone else’s highlight reel to your everyday life, because that’s not a realistic comparison in any way and it can often lead to disappointment or discouragement. It’s crucial for our generation to find a healthy balance on social media, and normalize being real more often.