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By: Katie Payne

It seems like whether you are 15 or 51, you may have heard of the world's newest social media app obsession, BeReal. Created by Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau in 2020, the app has sat almost dormant for the last two years. This summer seems to have brought about a need for yet another social networking app. Many teenagers have turned to BeReal to cure this desire. The premise of the app is that when the alarm goes off, users have two minutes to snap a picture of themselves on both their front and back camera at the same time. With the alarm going off only once every 24 hours, many teenagers get glued to their screens, waiting with heightened anticipation and anxiety over missing the two minute window. You can post a “late” one, after the window has passed; however, it may be frowned upon and highlights that you are not “being real” but rather “being fake.”

Since the creation of Facebook in 2004 by Harvard University Student Mark Zuckerberg, social media has turned into an obsession that most people find hard to live without. It was originally created as a social networking site with the intent for Harvard students to post photographs and information about their social life, clubs they belonged to, and their class schedule. In the years since its creation however, it has pushed social media and other core values behind it to the forefront of society. After Facebook came Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, and numerous other social media platforms. What started off as an innocent insight into the lives of your friends has turned into an obsessive platform selling fake authenticity to an audience that doesn't know otherwise.

The whole concept of only having a two minute window to post exactly what you are doing in that moment may seem to foster authenticity in the moment. However it seems that most people have turned this into an opportunity to fabricate or change whatever they are doing so that it fits into the norms they see on social media. If you are sitting in your bed as the BeReal alarm goes off you might be encouraged to wait to post until hours later when you might be with friends or in a social setting. But by the time that happens how can that portray your real life? That’s not what you were actually doing in the moment. Or if the BeReal goes off and you just so happen to be having fun the tone completely changes once you interrupt what you are doing to get the perfect picture of your event. I have known people who will retake their BeReal five or six times just so that it looks perfect. Once you have retaken the picture that many times, how can you possibly be selling genuine authenticity? It’s impossible. It can even be said that BeReal has inspired a whole new generation of kids to “be fake”.

It’s okay to live a life that isn't constantly aesthetically pleasing or picturesque. Be as real to yourself as you can. Live with an attitude that is truly authentic, not just one that appears that way.

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