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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ditch the filters, let’s be real 

Emerging app BeReal invites users to be authentic with their social media presence 


By SIERRA JIMENEZ — arts@theaggie.org


Amidst all the social media platforms that entice users to carefully contrive their lifestyle for the public, the up and coming app BeReal quite literally promotes the opposite — the opportunity to be real on a social media platform. 

“It’s not super stylized,” said Ava Bostock, a third-year political science and managerial economics major. “Everyone gets a notification at the same time… and it’s what you’re doing at the moment. It feels more genuine than Instagram, where people really curate their posts on their feed.” 

The app is designed to notify all its users at the same time at a random point every day. Upon receiving the notification, users are supposed to open the app right away and snap a picture of whatever they are doing at that specific moment without any filters, edits or likes. 

What is special about the design of this app over others like Snapchat is the use of both the front and back camera at the same time. That way, your friends on BeReal can view both what you as the user are seeing from the back camera, and also what the user is doing at that time with the front camera. In other words — you can’t fake what you are doing at the time the notification comes on your screen. 

“I personally love it,” said India Markus, a second-year human development major. “It’s a super cool way to show exactly what you’re doing at one point in the day and see what all your other friends are doing.”

Markus goes on to suggest that BeReal is more, well, real than Instagram or Snapchat for example, because it is a once a day thing. Rather than having new content constantly tempting you to keep scrolling, it is a one and done activity. 

“I’d say one of the better parts is seeing what everyone else is doing,” Markus said. 

Instead of a fully curated feed of the best pictures specifically selected to show followers what you want them to see, people are showing off the most random everyday activities that are not typically shared on other social media platforms. 

Benji Fine, a third-year wildlife fish and conservation biology major, who said he posts maybe once a year on Instagram and rarely uses Snapchat, loves the BeReal app because for him, it seems more genuine. 

“I like the whole ‘be real’ idea because I can’t really get validation from it,” Fine said. “I just post a picture of whatever I’m doing and that’s it. I’m just sharing with the people who I care about, the people [who] I want to see what I’m up to.”

According to Fine, some of his favorite BeReal moments he’s taken have been slacklining with friends, when he’s outside and “being myself, truly being happy.” 

Instead of picking and choosing photos out of your favorite photos album to post on Instagram for thousands of random followers to see, BeReal shows an unfiltered, unplanned authentic picture to the select people you choose to be friends with on the app. 

When asked if she ever staged her BeReal posts, Bostock said, “oh yeah, of course!” — seemingly many people choose to stage their BeReal’s once in a while for fun. 

Markus said her favorite staged BeReal moment was when a friend dressed up as her with a wig and her clothes while holding her student ID in front of her laptop simply for the BeReal moment. 

Not necessarily making a mockery of the app, Markus said, it more so makes the once-a-day online experience more exciting and fun. Whether your BeReal is staged or true to what you’re doing at the given moment, BeReal is a fun, simple way to show your pals what you’re up to on a daily basis and see what they’re doing in return. 

Seemingly blowing up out of nowhere, BeReal has made its mark in the Davis community and is spreading all over. Markus said how she can see her friends live their everyday lives from other colleges, keeping up with their simple pleasures and activities through the app. 

BeReal, a promising app that has made its way onto our phones, has made a mark on the social media world and proves to be a low-commitment, fun way to stay in the loop with friends and be real on social media. 


Written by: Sierra Jimenez — arts@theaggie.org



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