Emergence of BeReal app signals a shift toward a healthier society

By Naomi Baron

Scrolling through social media apps, whether it be Snapchat, VSCO or Instagram, teenagers are constantly consuming content that has been heavily edited with apps or manipulated by filters. For so long, society has submerged itself into these fake, alternate perceptions of reality. 

However, finally, through the rise of social media apps without the option of filters and editing, I am hopeful that the era of fakeness is being replaced with a new era of reality and glamorizing imperfections. 

The rise of a specific social media app, BeReal, has begun to gain immense popularity and makes its way to everyone’s home screen. 

According to NBC News, daily downloads of BeReal have grown by 315 percent since January. Additionally, since April 1, BeReal has become one of the top 10 most downloaded free social networking apps.

BeReal gains popularity: without editing abilities and predterming posting times, BeReal makes social media more realistic.
(Photo courtsey of Google Play)

BeReal is a simple app. A few times a day, each user gets sent a BeReal notification and has two minutes to post a picture of themselves and their surroundings. Once it is posted, the user is able to see the other pictures of its connected users.

The addition of new apps, specifically BeReal, solves two of the main issues presented with popular social media apps today. 

The first issue solved with BeReal is the heavily edited, fake pictures posted on social media apps, which promotes mental health issues, including self esteem problems caused by unfair comparisons. With BeReal, the ability to edit pictures is unavailable. Of course comparison of any kind can never be completely avoided, but I believe with no editing abilities, the possibility for comparison is lower and at a more ordinary level. 

Second, FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is addressed with BeReal. Since users are not able to dictate when to post pictures, the ability to plan extravagant pictures is removed completely. Although the timing of the BeReal notification could present itself during an optimum time, the element of extravagance is eliminated. In my experience, users end up posting pictures of themselves on the couch, watching television, which is a more realistic look into people’s lives.    

Although popular social media apps with editing capabilities are still persistent in popularity, I believe the rise of BeReal is a signal of society’s shift in priorities toward mindfulness and reality rather than promoting unachievable perfection.