Finally a platform that keeps it real

More real than Instagram

Femke de Wit

It’s Monday afternoon and I’m watching Netflix on the couch when my phone beeps. Using both the front camera and the back camera, I take a selfie and a picture of my legs out on the sofa at the same time. Then I hit send. Since March 2022, sharing images of highly ordinary, homely scenes has been a daily routine for me. Meanwhile, millions of others have joined in.

Why? Because we’re using BeReal, an app that sends you a message once a day at a random time, after which you have two minutes to take a picture of yourself and your surroundings. Then you share it with your followers. The name says it all: this is real. There is no option to edit the pictures, so no photoshopped bodies, no perfect backdrops and no facetuned faces. Likes, comments and followers aren’t relevant either, so users don’t aspire to post instagrammable scenes. The sun’s not always out, you look sweaty while doing a workout, and everyone is just going to be lying on the couch doing nothing at some point. This is social media at its most realistic and most social.

If a picture looks too good to be true, chances are it is not the first one they took. BeReal also allows you to see how many pictures someone took before finally posting. Is someone three hours late in posting a BeReal? Odds are that this person has waited for a social media-worthy moment. Not so real.

Even though the app is mostly just a fad so far, for me BeReal is a keeper. The pictures don’t make me long for the "perfect" life nor do they make me feel guilty when I’m lying on the couch. Because your friends only share one pic a day, you don't spend hours scrolling either. But the pressure to post something is still there: you can't see the pics of others until you've uploaded one yourself. But, to me, this app is the essence of social media: sharing your life with a small circle of people. With pictures that aren’t about perfection, but about curiosity about each other.


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Nieuw DUB-magazine nu te lezen!

In het magazine ‘Vallen en Opstaan’ lees je waarom het mentale welzijn van veel studenten onder druk staat. Ze worstelen met de hoge verwachtingen die ze van zichzelf hebben en die anderen van hen hebben. En er is keuzestress; zelfs als het gaat om met wie ze het bed willen delen.

Vier UU-studenten vormden de redactie van het magazine en schreven de meeste verhalen. Kijk hoe je scoort op de perfectiemeter. Leer van andere studenten hoe ze hindernissen overwonnen. Bedenk wat jij vindt van de mogelijke oplossingen waar experts mee komen. Gniffel over onze bekende fotostrip 3Hoog.

Het magazine wordt vanaf 19 oktober verspreid over de hele universiteit. Maar de artikelen zijn ook online te lezen. Klik hier.