How I manage to ‘BeFake’ on the app BeReal


Image used with permission from Henry Lee

Senior Henry Lee takes a BeReal at the beach with his friends Sept. 24.

BeReal, the app meant to authentically represent users, fails to do just what the whole purpose of the platform is meant for — capture random, unfiltered and “real” moments of time once a day.

Prompting users to post one photo within a two-minute time frame at a random time daily, the uprising app contains a unique feature in which the camera captures a photo with the front and back camera at the same time. Creating a social media post meant to be raw and unplanned, BeReal is made to avoid the artificiality that social media posts usually entail.

But when that BeReal notification goes off, announcing that it’s officially time to snap a photo and show the world what you’re up to, do people really try to capture that specific moment?

No, they don’t. In fact, even I don’t.

Instead, we ignore the notification and wait for that exciting moment in our day to take that picture. In essence, we are being “fake” when we are supposed to “be real.”

Based on my expert opinion (which can be proven by the long hours I’ve spent picking it apart since April), I’ve come to the conclusion that three main groups of people exist on BeReal.

THE REAL ONES: The people who do not care what they are doing when the BeReal sends out the notification. They will pause in the middle of whatever they are doing and snap a quick selfie to follow the purpose of this app.

THE PRETENDERS: Just like the people who are real, except worse. They create an entire background from scratch to pretend as if they are living the life while trying to capture the photo within the time frame.

I just know that they were on YouTube before switching to that Google Classroom tab, feigning productivity. If you’re going to post the BeReal on time, you might as well be real.

THE DOWN-RIGHT FAKES: People who only post picture-perfect moments when they are out having fun with their friends. Otherwise, the app might as well be nonexistent on their phone.

And that’s OK — although it defeats the whole purpose of the app.

Personally, I associate myself with the Fakes. I don’t care if I’m not real on BeReal.

Looking back on my posts and having one photo to summarize what I did each day will let me reminisce about the good memories I made in high school.

Though BeReal tries to promote authenticity in contrast to typical social media, it’s clear that it doesn’t really prevent that culture in any way.

But you know what? That’s OK.