• Gwyneth

BeReal, Is It Actually ‘Real’?

If your screen time is not already sky-scraping high, here’s another app to add to your list.

Released in 2020 and rising in popularity by 315% in 2022 (thanks to all my good ol’ Gen-Z pals), BeReal has been on everyone’s raider and is currently listed fourth on the most downloaded social media apps falling just behind Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

What actually is BeReal? Founded by French entrepreneur Alexis Barreyat, the app is designed to be the ‘anti-Instagram’ and serve as a more ‘relatable’ and ‘authentic’ version of the gram. As written on the apps description: “BeReal is the simplest photo sharing app to share once a day your real life in photo with friends. Every day at a different time, everyone captures a photo within 2 minutes. Capture and post in time to discover what your Friends are up to.” In other words, the app functions as a social media platform where users get sent a message at a different time each day and take a candid photo from both sides of their camera.

Sounds harmless right? It should be considering how the app promotes how BeReal: • Will not make you waste time • Is life, Real life, and this life is without filters • Will challenge your creativity • Is your chance to show your friends who you really are, for once • Can be addictive • Might frustrate you • Will not make you famous. If you want to become an influencer you can stay on TikTok and Instagram.

But as we are all aware, anything that is wildly used and is seeking to ‘outdo’ another app should be met with caution.

What are the risks of BeReal?

Starting at the physical level, BeReal has been seen as a cause for accidents such as bike riding, where the rider has been travelling and received a notification from the app and sporadically rushed to take a photo before the timer finishes.

I should also mention how when a person does not post their photo within the time slot you are pinned as ‘late’ and are unable to see other people’s post until your photo is live.

In an attempt to limit embarrassment by friends the rider took their hands off of the steer and caused a mild injury, I can only imagine what would have happened if they had been in the car. Furthermore, when dealing with apps that fall within a rising popularity trend it is important to look at how this can be detrimental to a person mentally. To tackle the social media app, I have comprised some tips.

What are my top 5 recommended tips to stay safe on BeReal?

1. Think about the content you are posting. Peer pressure can be a pain in more cases than none, but it is important to not be posting for ‘the sake of it’ and jeopardise your privacy or someone else. Posting outside of the time frame will not ruin you, so think about whether or not you like what you are putting on the internet.

2. Do not be afraid to delete images when you do not feel comfortable with the post. It's as easy as tapping on three little dots at the top right of the image and removing it from your feed (remember though, once you press post initially it lives in the social media world forever, just not specifically on your BeReal grid). One more note on this is that only one photo can be deleted a day so if you are wanting to delete more head to the contact page on the BeReal app and email customer support for assistance.

3. Report an image if you do not agree with what someone has posted and/or feel offended by the content on BeReal. All you have to do is press on the report button and choose from any of these categories for why you dislike the post:Images of an explicit natureImages calling for hatred, terrorism, violence in general or against a group of people in particularImages inciting others to endanger themselves or provoking suicide

4. Make sure that you are using the app for the right reasons. Personally, I have been pretty put off BeReal as one of the first things I heard one of my friends describe the app was “a way to stalk people and see into their lives”. Freaky right?

5. Privacy is key! As is for everything please always seek permission before ever putting someone else online.

Final Note If you do decide to download the app, remember that the terms state that users must be over the age of 13. These age brackets are put in for a reason, so please respect this.

About the Author, Gwyneth:

I live in Wollongong and am currently in my final year of high school (yay!). As a product of the twenty-first century, I would be lying if I said social media didn't play an important role in my day-to-day life, and, because of this, I want to ensure it continues to progress as a safe environment for all users.

I am very excited to be part of the Youth Advisory Committee and to be connecting with like-minded individuals.


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