Brief: Has BeReal Made Friends Realer?

The BeReal app has taken Friends by storm. Has it made us any more authentic on social media?

BeReal, the latest social media network, has recently gained popularity throughout Friends’ Upper School.

The app’s focus on authenticity skyrocketed it to fame towards the middle of the 2022 summer.  The objective of the app is for members to “be real,” by documenting what they are doing within a two minute window of when a notification goes off.

But real-life results have been mixed.  Per usual, people still want to be perceived as more interesting than they feel they are.  So some post later than the 2-minute window, or retake selfies multiple times when they think they’re doing something “cool.”

Here at Friends, teachers have witnessed class being disrupted when the BeReal notification goes off, distracting students from their learning. Some faculty have even joined the app – then expressed both interest and stress over taking their own BeReals.

This seems like just another example of a failed attempt at online authenticity. Will our generation ever feel comfortable “being real” on social media?