By Anaya Peguero || Contributing Writer
The point of the popular app BeReal is to showcase life without filters and live in the moment, which is oxymoronic when you think about it. Social media has always been a place to render yourself truly vulnerable and unfiltered to the world. It’s a place where one exposes their uncut, unedited, and unpolished nature. BeReal embodies those very principles social media holds so dearly.
You have only two minutes to post a picture from both your front camera and your back camera, meaning that your duck face and hair have to be perfect, but wait: your surroundings need to be impeccable as well. Fighting a war on two fronts, BeReal is a true testament to one’s character (your #realness).
My favorite feature of the app is that it tells you how many times you retake a picture before posting it. Ranging from three retakes to sometimes seventeen, it’s a display of how “unreal” you are, or in other words, how much you staged your picture until it was perfect. Not so real of you, if you ask me, but the app continues to succeed amongst its Gen Z users.
Another one of my favorite features is that BeReal gives you an unlimited amount of time to post and not just the two minutes provided to take the picture, ensuring that our dedication to living in the moment is authentic. While some post right when the notification shows up on their phones, others could take up to 16 hours to seriously message that they’re equally as real, even if it’s more than half a day later. They didn’t wait until they were doing something interesting to post, on the contrary, they were so committed to being real that they favorably ignored the notification that it was time to BeReal because they were so busy being real.
When we hold a magnifying glass to BeReal and the way the users ultimately interact with it, it seems as though it’s more of a social commentary than an actual effort to live in the moment. Social media is a stage, and unfortunately, there’s a compulsory need to be effortlessly yet aesthetically pleasing all the time. It takes the fun out of BeReal, even though it is humorous to pretend that we didn’t spend minutes shuffling in an awkward silence preparing to snap a “genuine” picture of us living in the moment. It’s almost endearing.
Sophomore Anaya Peguero is a Contributing Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.