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Photo by Sydney Di Brina and Amy Weight

BeReal or BeFake?

Two BeReal photos, one of someone on a bus and the other of someone at a Harry Styles concert.
Photo by Sydney Di Brina and Amy Weight

During the Summer, everyone was downloading BeReal, the hit new app. The app has users dropping everything to take one unfiltered daily photo. BeReal chooses a random time and alerts users to take a picture right then and there. The purpose is to capture and share a realistic snapshot of what people are doing in their day-to-day lives; the opposite of what other social media apps encourage.

If you miss the chance to upload your BeReal photo at the given time, don’t fret because you can still post it later, but if you miss the actual time to post, how real is your BeReal?

While scrolling through friends’ BeReals it is striking to see how many people post with their friends, at a party, a concert, and always doing something exciting. This can’t be the reality for everyone. 

Why are people not posting photos of themselves doing homework or lying in bed, doing mundane things? 

Social media promotes users posting the best version of themselves and even an app like BeReal, focused on showcasing real people, cannot change the pattern.

Social media apps have generated the idea of presenting perfectionism online. I have to confess I am guilty of posting a few BeFakes. When my BeReal goes off and I know I am going out with friends later in the day I wait until I can capture a photo with everyone. It’s more exciting for my friends to view, although this is not the app’s purpose. 

Posting late and unreal moments creates the idea that people have exciting and appealing lives, but ordinary people are not always doing something interesting. Posting photos like this ignites FOMO and negative feelings about yourself.

Can one app change the unrealistic standards of social media? If we all tried our best to post on BeReal on time and in real moments this could help, but one app cannot change the notion of uploading fabricated false media. Some advice: For the time being try your best to be BeReal and don’t be fake.

Sydney Di Brina

Toronto MU '23

Sydney is in her fourth year at Toronto Metropolitan University, in the journalism program. She enjoys exercising, cooking healthy treats, binge-watching shows and movies, and organizing her many Pinterest boards. She also loves drinking matcha and spending time with her teacup Yorkie, Lola.