By Madeleine Spanbauer, Staff Writer
Over the last few months, a new social media platform dubbed “BeReal” has been on the rise, both in the Payton community and elsewhere. This app sends out a notification to all users once a day telling them to take a picture of what they are doing right at that moment and post it to the app. The app focuses on authenticity, and only allows users two minutes to take their picture.
It seems like the time has come for a less toxic social media platform to become popularized. The levels of anxiety amongst teens have been rising recently, and in 2020 nearly 10% of all teens were diagnosed with it. This, in part, is due to the rise of social media usage. Finally having a platform like BeReal that doesn’t focus on perfection is a well needed breath of fresh air.
BeReal has many features that are unique to the platform. For example, there is no “like” feature and instead “reactions” are utilized. Users react to others’ photos by taking a quick picture of themselves. This picture appears at the bottom of the post. Sanaa Taqvi ‘25 says “I like BeReal because it forces you to actually be real. On Instagram, you have the opportunity to take your time with editing and filters, whereas on BeReal you don’t have time to get ready for the photo.”
BeReal has already become a favorite of many teenagers, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its downsides. Mia Ahitow ‘25 says, “I do like BeReal. The only negative aspect that I could think of is that other people might feel left out by seeing who you are with at the moment.” Iyanna Tuyay ‘25 says, “I like the idea, but I only use it on days where I’m doing something interesting because I think nobody would find it interesting if I wasn’t doing anything fun.” Kristina Vlaovic ‘25 thinks that, “BeReal is such a unique concept compared to other social media apps, and it’s a cool way to see what all of your friends are up to. I don’t think it’s better than other forms of social media though because I feel like other social media apps are able to do a lot more than BeReal can because you can message people on them, post multiple times a day, et cetera.”
To me, BeReal has many positive aspects that you won’t find in other forms of social media. Having no like feature definitely seems to be a good thing, however the use of reactions may not be the best replacement. I like how the app encourages people to be more authentic. While it may have some better features than other social media platforms, it is still a way of sharing your life on the internet and users should remember to treat it with caution to make sure they don’t let it affect their mental health. Hopefully more of these less toxic platforms will become popularized in the near future.