SPOTLIGHT: It’s time to BeReal

Students and staff share their experience with BeReal

A notification goes off during class. Heads turn. Eyes meet. It is time to be real.

BeReal has over 53 million downloads, yet only 3 million users open the app every day.

BeReal is a social media platform that has recently gained a lot of national recognition. Users are invited to submit a picture from their front camera and their back camera at a random time every day in order to view their friends’ submissions. BeReal is strictly for photos and has no filters in order for it to “be real.” BeReal has around 21.6 million users and a portion of them are SCHS students.

Many of senior Rida Faraz’s friends have BeReal, but initially, Faraz was against the idea of downloading BeReal because of the daily commitment. However, she eventually decided she would like to have the app to keep in touch with her friends and has learned to not feel pressured to take her BeReal immediately.

“If I post on time, I post on time and if not, there’s nothing wrong with it really,” Faraz said.

BeReal also does not disrupt freshman Aditi Gupta’s day because it does not take her much time to submit the picture.

“BeReal kind of affects my schedule but not crazily because sometimes it does go off in class, but if I’m in a rush, I’ll take one really quickly since BeReal is supposed to be authentic and genuine,” Gupta said. “It’s just a two minute span of where you take a photo in the moment.”

Freshman Jian Hong also does not upload her BeReal right away, often due to the fact that her notifications are silenced.

“I think sometimes it’s because I’m at school and my phone is on Do Not Disturb, so I find it (the notification) much later. I see the notification (and) I’m like, ‘It’s okay. I’ll do it later,’” Hong said.

Gupta, on the other hand, does feel the need to post her BeReal on time to honor the sincerity of the app.

“I think sometimes I do feel a little pressured because my friends say, ‘Oh, why didn’t you post your BeReal on time? It’s supposed to be authentic,’” Gupta said.

Faraz believes that it is not necessary to pause what she is doing to submit her BeReal.

“If it comes up at a time where I’m doing something more important, then I don’t do it until I remember later that day, or do something more interesting,” Faraz said.

Math teacher Anthony Brasil agrees that one’s image on social media typically portrays solely important moments.

“It’s kind of to show your highlights, like the ESPN Top 10, or something like that. But it’s perceived as everybody’s living this super awesome life and going on vacations all the time,” Brasil said. “That sets a tone that is very nonrealistic, especially for younger people.”

Hong believes while not everyone is posting just their best moments, there is always someone who romanticizes their life online.

“I feel like whatever time it is or whatever app it is, there will always be that kind of person,” Hong said. “I completely understand them because it’s a picture of yourself that you are showing to your friends, and whether you are really self-conscious or your ego is kind of low, you just want to show them the best moment of your life instead of just showing a normal day.”

Social media can have a detrimental effect if it is not used as intended. According to Lawrence Robinson and Melinda Smith from, social media can make people feel insecure about how they look and what goes on in their life. It also tends to lead to a low self-esteem and a negative view of one’s body. Brasil views this as one of the flaws in social media platforms, especially BeReal.

“It does pose mental health problems, like people setting unrealistic goals and setting these body image or life goals,” Brasil said. “It’s unrealistic and it kind of puts you in a bad mindset for, especially, a younger, like teenage demographic.”

While there are people on BeReal who glorify their own lives, Faraz thinks that BeReal is a more genuine app compared to other social media.

“I think it would be pretty nice if other social media platforms became as transparent (as BeReal). The best part about this app is that I think I’ve gotten a lot closer to people who I didn’t know too well,” Faraz said.

Some believe that relationships with others can be hard to maintain, but Hong believes BeReal might just change that.

“It’s just cool that you can see your friends wherever they live. Even if they live in a different state, you can see what they are doing at the same time as you,” Hong said.

Faraz likes the idea of seeing a more authentic side of people on BeReal.

“If all social media was like that, I think we would form interaction on a deeper level instead of seeing everyone’s social media personas,” Faraz said.