Can I BeReal?

Story by Evy Tjin A Ton

Most of you already use it, BeReal. Every day at a different time, BeReal notifies everyone simultaneously to capture and share a photo within two minutes. It’s supposed to be a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life. Unlike Instagram and Snapchat, the photos on BeReal should be very pure, without filters and in the moment. Hence the name BeReal. It should be a spontaneous photo where you do not hide from the outside world. You will only see your friends’ BeReals after you have placed a BeReal yourself. I use the new trendy app on a daily basis, but sadly I am not following the real rules.

Did you miss the two minutes? Then you can still post a ‘Late BeReal’, so you can see what your friends are up to. This takes away the original idea of BeReal. It might as well be a post on Instagram.

Most friends I have, hardly ever post their photo at the exact time of the notification. To be honest, I’m as bad as most. I almost cheat every time. Often I even wait for the best activity of the day to make my BeReal. And even though there is no filter, I am always busy getting my hair out of a bun or just holding the best pose. Of the 136 BeReals I made until now, only 18 were within the notification time. This is about one out of ten times where I actually show what I’m doing.

I’m preventing myself from showing my truest side.

As a self-experiment, I tried to make the BeReal on time five days in a row when receiving the notification. It started well on day one, but unfortunately I already failed the day after, when I completely missed the notification. It turned out to be more difficult than expected. It makes sense that you can miss the notification and still take a picture. But at that point it feels UnReal to me. Most people, myself included, use the possibility of postponement to stage their life – again.

Even though I feel like it’s another app where I have to stage my life, I really feel the need to go along with the trend. I want to see what my friends are up to. I want to see behind the perfect image on social media. But I’m not and they don’t see my real life either. Currently I have 60 friends on BeReal and I just show them what I want to. I’m preventing myself from showing my truest side.
I find it hard to admit, but I think it’s still somewhat of an insecurity and I don’t want to necessarily show my real side to everyone out of those 60 people.

For now I really like the app and I will definitely use it for a while. Probably until the next new trendy app pops up. Then I’ll just follow the latest hype, like a sheep following the herd.