–When you travel or fall asleep: on BeReal you show your supposed “real” self. © Screen / BeReal
Our author tested the “BeReal” app for a month and said: “BeFake would fit better”.
After Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, now there is BeReal. A social media app that claims not to be as fake as its predecessors. But are we really ourselves on the app? Without embellishments, without posing? Are we showing real life? It would be nice!
I, 26, have tried the app for a month and I am convinced: the real is different. And if it does, reality is pretty damn boring.
Getting started with BeReal: Posting is stressful
Unlike Instagram, BeReal only posts once a day. So I can’t decide when at first – I get a push notification every day at a certain time that varies every day. This can be in the morning, noon or late in the evening. Behind a threatening yellow warning sign I read: “You have two minutes to post your BeReal”. At first it stressed me out. Shit, I need to upload a photo quick!
In social media, I’m actually on the prowl – that’s what people call people who just watch what others are doing without posting themselves. On BeReal I am forced to post. Everyday! All photos in the BeReal app will be deleted after 24 hours. If I don’t post a photo myself, I can’t see my friends’ photos. And honestly, that’s why I’m here: to see what my friends are doing.
Better BeLate like BeReal
Other than the two minutes, I can’t just select a photo from the media library. This means I only have two or three attempts to take a good photo. At the end of the countdown, the photo is set. BeReal gives the impression that I can only post what I’m actually doing right now: whether I’m sleeping, sitting on the toilet or standing in line at the bakery. Really real.
But I soon realized that the reality of BeReal is different: it is true that you only have two minutes to take the photo yourself. However, I can vary the time I take the photos. I can just ignore the push notification. So I can decide to post later. This post is called “BeLate”. The app will then show how many minutes or hours of delay I have posted. If I post a BeLate, my friends get a notification from the app, but they can turn it off. It has no more consequences to be late than real.