March 10, 2023 | FEATURES | By Olivia Xerras
BeReal, a social media app created in 2020, is making waves on the Colorado College campus.
French app developers Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau uploaded the application with no subscription policy and zero in-app adds, meaning the only way BeReal has been able to make money is through investments. There is clearly a want and space for the app, but how well is the app being used on campus?
When users install the app, they are prompted by a noise that tells them to take a photo at random times. The photo, however, comes from selfie-mode and the back-facing camera. The goal is to illuminate what the user is doing in a non-curated way, unlike, say, Instagram. Users are encouraged to take a photo within a two-minute time span, but one does not have to post until they are ready.
This leaves room for users to retake a BeReal many times before actually sharing the front and back facing photos with friends. In other words, to curate the perfect shot.
In recent weeks, more than two dozen students who say they use the app said that while doing so can be fun, it also comes with potential drawbacks. One of the drawbacks includes the lack of timelines when posting.
Kyle Rowland ’25, has had the app for about two weeks and is a fan.
“I think BeReal is a positive app for my mental health because I get to see what my home friends are doing and what my college friends are doing and I think it’s overall really fun,” Rowland said. “I think this is probably one of the best apps to look back on when I get through with college.”
There seems to be a variety of users on the CC campus, ranging from fans of the app to purposeful non-users.
Kalani Korok ’24, a BeReal user, believes that time spent on different apps is a factor in her ability to ‘be real’ and to be on time. “I spend too much time on TikTok to have time for BeReal,” Korok said.
Even BeReal users have a hard time designating an appropriate amount of their day for the app, especially when there are other choices on a home screen to click to.
Outdoor Education Trip Leader, Julia Watson ’24, highlights her rationale for not being a user.
“I don’t have a lot of insider knowledge, but from what I’ve heard I think BeReal could be problematic because it encourages people to criticize their daily activities and feel shameful about giving themselves rest,” Watson said.
“If I saw the notification come up when I was just taking some alone time or just doing mundane daily activities, I would feel an unhealthy pressure to change those habits that are often restful.”
Marynn Krull ’26, explains her love for the platform, which she initially downloaded early in July of 2022.
“It was so much fun to see what everyone was up to while they were traveling and moving to college,” said Krull. Krull mentions how big of a deal BeReal is in her eyes on campus.
“When it’s BeReal time you see everybody pull their phones out, like it’s always at Rasty’s for some reason,” said Krull. “I feel like it’s positive, which is kind of rare for social media.”