BeReal Takes Over Creek

New App Challenges Social Media’s Culture of Inauthenticity

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Gillian Neale

NO TIME TO POSE: Sophomore Gabe Christeson holds his phone as he takes a BeReal of himself, sophomore Nola Bruce, and junior Katija Weis after the app takes a picture of 2022 graduate Colin Mitchell. Many like how BeReal lacks editing features. “You’re not getting ready to do something,” Bruce said, “you’re doing it in the moment.”

Gillian Neale, Staff Writer

There are only a few things that stop everyone in their tracks: shocking news, sudden disaster . . . and a notification from BeReal, a new social media app.

The app functions completely differently than your typical social media apps. It sends all users a notification at a different time each day, which gives them the opportunity to post a photo of their surroundings within two minutes of the notification – or post it at a different time, and be late.

“It’s really unique compared to other forms of social media because there isn’t a lot of editing involved and it’s right on the spot, so you don’t have a ton of time to pose,” sophomore Laila Ibrahim said. “It seems very authentic.”

The posts are structured to show what people are actually doing. It takes a picture with both of the phone’s cameras, just seconds apart. The two minute time limit starts to count down once you click the “post your BeReal” button.

BeReal has no editing features, but it allows users to see how many times a user has retaken a picture within the time limit. The app also uses “Realmojis,” which are intended to be like emojis, but they show the user’s real reaction to the post.

“You might do something on Instagram with filters or Snapchat, so I think it’s good to show what people are really like,” social studies teacher Steve Huntingdale said.

While BeReal lacks editing features like Instagram’s filters, posts can sometimes be faked because users want to show off the interesting aspects of their lives.

“I don’t post when the timer goes off; I always post after I’m doing something exciting,” sophomore Kinley Wolfe said. “You can fake it sometimes and post later than is intended.”

Social media has always been popular at Creek, but BeReal’s popularity has been influenced by its easy to use features.

“It’s a really simple way to just kind of document your day to day life and have some nice memories to look back on,” junior Rose Chambers said.

Although posts change every day on the new app, old posts are easily accessible in users’ profiles.

Even some staff have unwillingly gotten involved in BeReal and are considered “BeReal victims,” including Principal Ryan Silva, security guard Tim Wright, and even some substitute teachers.

“I know I’ve been in two, but it could be more, it’s hard to say,” Huntingdale said.

Students hand their phones to teachers and ask if they’ll take a picture for them. Then, the camera flips and takes a picture of the teacher holding the phone.

Although social media can be frowned upon by both students and staff and could be a disruption in the classroom, BeReal has changed how social media is generally perceived at Creek.

“I can’t think of anything negative about it,” sophomore Nola Bruce said. “I feel like everybody else is being more authentic and real.”