BeReal Reveals the Impossibility of Authentic Social Media

The creation and rapidly developing popularity of BeReal, an app that seeks to embody the idea of authentic social media, proves that authentic social media is an oxymoron. BeReal sends users a notification once a day at a random time, prompting them to take both a front-facing and back-facing photo of whatever they’re doing at that moment. The mission statement is: “Your friends for real. A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.” What started out as a new concept for social media that heavily nudges users to be genuine soon became another highlight reel under the guise of authenticity. 

When BeReal first began to get popular in early 2022, it was mostly within very small circles. Back then, it was much easier to comply with the concept by taking the photo on time, rather than repeatedly deleting and retaking it.

KUBINEC | BeReal is Saving Gen-Z

BeReal walks a middle road between throwing your phone into Beebe Lake and spending your vacation obsessively taking selfies. It’s what I like to call dumb social media — apps whose entire appeal is their limitations. BeReal does not allow users to see follower counts, filter their pictures or post more than once a day. The app exists more or less as an elaborate inside joke between its users, a meme turned to reality. And it’s not alone in the dumb social media category.