Why BeReal is Bad for Society


Stella Thrift, Staff Writer

BeReal has become one of the most popular apps of the year, with 53 million users worldwide as of October 2022. While it proves to be an excellent way for people to connect, there remains a certain irony to the app that is right within its name—nothing about BeReal is real.

The rules of the app are simple. Users are prompted with a daily notification to take two pictures, one of what’s in front of them, and the other of themselves. BeReal originally aimed to ground people in reality by forcing them to take unfiltered photos of the current moment, regardless of what they were doing. In theory, this seems like a good idea, but the results say otherwise.

BeReal is not authentic, and it falls into the same trap as many other social media apps, such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook: Users on BeReal will purposely try to take photos where they are seen doing something they believe others will perceive as cool or fun. In return, it creates an app marketed as authentic–with millions of people doing the exact opposite of that. 

SHS junior Andrei Aprea discussed the negative aspects of the app, saying, “BeReal is essentially like every other social media–it takes you out of the present moment. Since it lets you retake your photo, it truly doesn’t show the real you, and you can take it at any time.”

The only way to truly be real is to ditch your phone. This is unrealistic and extreme, but there are still numerous ways to be real without an app telling you to do so. Social media leaves us isolated, anxiety-ridden, and depressed. It can be amazing in terms of connecting with others–while simultaneously spreading wide-range disconnect in society.

Social media is a useful tool, but as with anything, it should only be used in small portions. BeReal may not be as authentic as initially believed, but this doesn’t mean everyone needs to delete the app and forget about it entirely. Instead, learning to turn away from technology every once in a while and enjoying what the real world has to offer seems to be the more viable solution.