Getting real about BeReal


Grace Medley, Reporter

For an app based on the candidness of its users, BeReal can be as fake as it gets.

Viral app BeReal has taken the world by storm. According to, the app has 28 million downloads and 2.93 million daily users.

If you haven’t heard of BeReal, here’s how it works: the app will send out a notification to every user at the same time letting them know it’s time to take a picture. The user then has two minutes to take a picture with their front camera and then one with their back camera. If the user doesn’t take a picture in that timeframe, they have the option to post late.

The entire point of BeReal is to show your friends what you’re doing at the exact moment the notification gets sent out – so why do so many people take their pictures hours after the two minute window has passed?

The answer lies in our constant need to perform for an audience.

Even on an app where only our friends can see what we post, there’s still that inherent need to prove how interesting our lives are to others. So, one might “forget” to post until they’re doing something interesting. I, too, am guilty of this.

We’ve created an imaginary pressure for ourselves on a platform built on uncontrived moments in our daily lives.

If I know that I’ll be doing something interesting later like hanging out with someone or going to an event, I’ll most likely wait until I’m doing that activity to post my BeReal – even if it’s hours after the posting timeframe. I want to project a certain image of myself – one that doesn’t involve me doing school work or laying in my bed.

When I think about it, this seems ridiculous. Everyone I have added on BeReal is a friend – why do I feel the need to prove anything?

I think this need to fabricate candidness comes from years of social media use. Being completely honest can be terrifying when we only ever post the best of ourselves, even with our friends.

So, has BeReal officially joined rank with social media giants like Instagram and Snapchat and become just another way to show an idealized version of ourselves? Not quite.

There’s a lot we can still learn from BeReal. While, yes, I have definitely waited many times to post until I’m doing something interesting, there are just as many posts of me eating pizza bagels in bed or watching a show.

The more I’ve used BeReal, the more candid my posts have been. If I’m walking to class, I’ll post from there. It isn’t as contrived anymore. It’s a way for me to share the most mundane parts of myself with my friends.

BeReal is showing us that we can be casual on social media again. It’s a slow process, and definitely isn’t the cure to social media performativity, but it’s a start.