Let’s just BeReal

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Photos by Farah Al-Rbehat

Students ask teacher (left) to take BeReal while participating in after school activity.

A notification on a phone, with less than two minutes to take a picture– front and back angles– of what is going on at the exact moment. Someone could be on vacation, at school or just lying in bed. As their phone dings and they see a little black icon on their screens, a timer starts counting every second that passes since they’ve gotten the notification. If they post their picture late, their friends will know. That is the concept of this app: to capture and share the most authentic, unedited version of yourself.  

Students are raving about the new social media app, BeReal, that was made to follow up with friends and “be real” about what they are doing when they get the notification. However, after a lifetime of using social media platforms that promote idealistic lifestyles, many people are unprepared for this concept.

When people get this notification while doing mundane things such as lying in bed or scrolling on their phone, they try to make themselves look more appealing to their friends. Ignoring the request, they delay their BeReal to when they are doing something interesting. 

“People do it to romanticize their life and be cute,” said Diya Bhatia, sophomore.

Diya Bhatia (right) gets BeReal notification when getting ready with friends. (Photos by Diya Bhatia)

Instead of being real and taking a picture within the two-minute mark, they choose to be real later when they are doing something more interesting. But people are displeased with the way these people are acting with the new app. 

“It wasn’t supposed to be like other social media apps, but now people use it just as much as Snapchat,” said Bhatia.

As with every other debate in the world, there seems to be two opinions on how serious this app is. There are some that take in every detail of someone’s BeReal, completely invading others’ privacy and disregarding the point of the app. Others suggest that people should not be abusing the privilege of being able to see their friends and should just accept the fact that people can do whatever they want. 

“All my friends have it. I downloaded it, but I’m honestly not going to use it,” said Zainab AlKhanfar, junior. 

 With fears of getting exposed or simply personal cautions for one’s privacy, many choose not to have the app.  On the other hand, there is an overwhelming amount that do not even know what BeReal is. Some may argue that this new app is simply another social media craze that will soon be forgotten about in a few months’ time. Others are just not interested in social media in general but know about it due to the hype surrounding it.

Nora Richards (corner, right) with friend and dogs in BeReal. (Photos by Nora Richards)

“It’s really cool to have a way to show a very specific moment of your day,” said Jody Herring, teacher.

With the hype surrounding BeReal at school, some teachers have caught on. From a teacher standpoint, they may think the app is unnecessary or destructive to class time. But most teachers do not know what it is. 

“I don’t mind when kids want to use social media [technology] during class as long as they tell me. It’s only a minute out of our day,” said Herring.

Intrigued with the new app, Herring thinks it is cool to show a very specific moment of your day with your friends. In this day and age, teenagers are very dependent on social media to connect with each other, it plays a very important role for some. On the other hand, Herring points out that people may have a very popular life, but in reality, it is chill. 

“Now I understand why it’s called BeReal,” said Herring.