Time to BeReal: social media without the filters

Mallory Pace, Government Reporter

BeReal is the latest ‘not another social network’ designed to bring users of social media back to reality and away from the filters. Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau, French founders and CEOs of BeReal, released the app in 2020 but has recently been increasing in popularity. As of April 2022, BeReal has amassed 2.93 million daily active users and is up 29200% in the last year.

Social media has undoubtedly become a significant part of everyday lives and culture. Through social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, people can connect with friends and family, near and far, sharing photos, thoughts and opinions with virtually anyone. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that social media has changed how people communicate and interact with one another. 

 It’s easy to get wrapped up and sometimes lost in the lives of other people. Seeing the perfect selfie someone just posted, the adventurous trip your friend just went on, or the glamorous life constantly documented by your favorite celebrity can all harm your self-esteem. People tend to forget that every post and pictures they see from someone, is meticulously curated to show what that person wants you to see; the real and rawness of daily lives gets either pushed out or given a filter. 

White text reads "BeReal. You friends for real."

BeReal functions a bit differently from traditional social media. At a completely random time each day, each user of the app is notified that it’s “Time to BeReal” and is given a two-minute window to snap a picture of what they’re doing. The photo is taken simultaneously from the front and back camera lenses, giving an unedited dual perspective. It is then shared in the feeds of other users or only friends, and those who don’t post can’t view what others have shared, making it so you have to contribute to be a part of the action.

 The assumed purpose of BeReal is for users to get a glimpse into the everyday lives of their friends or other people to realize how fake social media can be and that it isn’t always sunshine and roses in what seems like everyone else’s lives but yours. There’s a comfort to be found in knowing that other people also live similarly mundane lives because that’s usually how life looks.  

 Sophia Gallo, a political science major at UNF, said she uses BeReal because it’s more of a realistic social media. 

“I think it’s important to show who you really are,” Gallo said. “With Instagram, you’re always filtered up, you’re always in the best positions, and getting the best angles. I think it’s cool to see everybody at their most natural moment.” 

 Somewhere along the path of social media, society decided that no one wants to see the bad or mundane parts of life, so social media was the way to prove to others that we live fabulous and thrill-seeking lives when that is most commonly not the case. BeReal is a platform that shows the raw and unfiltered parts of life, so you might not have to feel guilty anymore for staying in on a Friday night because you know other people are too. 

 Luuk Guiou, sophomore studying psychology, appreciates the spontaneity of BeReal. 

 “It definitely does show me that all my friends aren’t always out doing something, they’re just watching a movie,” Guiou said. “It does make me feel better that I’m not doing a ton with my life all the time. It’s more realistic and not perfectly curated.” 

 There’s nothing wrong with only posting the best parts of our lives; it can be a way to personally document the milestones of life that shaped us into who we are today. It can be a way to capture our most memorable moments for us to look back on one day and reminisce. 

 But the idea and goal behind BeReal is to remind ourselves that life isn’t picture perfect. It isn’t a series of blue skies, sunny days, and smiles. Life is filled with boring, unhappy, and hard days. It’s just hard to realize that when our feeds are constantly filtered with only the best parts of people. 

 People will always post their best moments online, and that’s not a bad thing. The trick is to remember exactly that—it’s just the best moment. We all have our best and worst moments; we just have to remember that life online isn’t always what it seems to be. 

Whoops, gotta go—it’s time to BeReal!


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