Let’s BeReal about social media

The reality behind BeReal

Video by Drew Taylor using Canva

Drew Taylor, Social Media Co-editor; Staff Reporter

Let’s “Be Real” Ankeny High School, in the very modern 21st century, social media has become an essential aspect of our everyday lives. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few social media platforms encapsulating over 4.26 billion people worldwide

“I think social media is a great way to stay updated with the world,” AHS sophomore Ryan Tomlinson said. “It’s the way I stay on top of the news”. 

For students like Ryan Tomlinson, social media is used in an informative manner. Many social media platforms provide the younger generation with access to news worldwide. However, in this day and age, social media has turned into a toxic environment where users have the freedom to say whatever they want with little to no consequences. 

Shown here is a BeReal posted by AHS sophomore Ryan Tomlinson while in the auditorium at AHS with other students.

“People can say whatever they want because it is all online,” Tomlinson said. “You might never see the person to confront them (face to face)”.

From feuds on Twitter to hateful comments on Instagram, negativity is spread at an all-time high throughout all social media platforms.

“It’s fake, it’s like a barrier that people use to get away with rude and negative actions,” AHS senior Natalie Jasso said in regard to what stirs up negativity on social media. 

In the twenty-first century, high school students are some of social media’s most popular users. For good or bad, students are constantly comparing themselves to one another on social media. It can put a lot of pressure on students to look the best and be the best everyday. This negatively affects their mental health because it creates unrealistic self-expectations. In 2022, in an article written by Healthline, ExpressVPN ran a survey with 1,500 Americans ages 16-24, and 76% reported an increase in depression from using social media.

“With Instagram, I can edit my photos and choose (exactly) how I want to look,” Jasso said. 

Editing images before posting is not an option with the newly released social media platform, BeReal. Released in 2020, BeReal took the social media world by storm in early 2022. Looking to change the game in the social media world, BeReal is an app that allows users to “be real” with their friends. Rather than being an app where images can be edited or posed, BeReal can only be used once a day by its users, sending them a notification telling them “It’s time to BeReal!” Users worldwide send in a snapshot of what they are doing the very second the notification is sent. 

“With BeReal, I have to just go for it!” Jasso said.

Shown here is a BeReal posted by AHS senior Natalie Jasso while spending time at Universal Studios with other AHS students.

Posting on BeReal is easy for social media users. Users take a snapshot with the back camera on their device, and then take another snapshot using the front camera. This allows users to post a selfie along with a view of what they are doing at the current moment. 

“It’s funny, sometimes it’s weird,” AHS senior André Valdez said, “it gives me positive feelings”.

BeReal is creating an environment where users worldwide can connect by sharing the beauty in our ordinary everyday lives. Having a “Discover” feature of the app, allows users to “be real” with others all around the world.

“It honestly is like being real, you can’t really fake anything at the time. I think that is really cool. With Instagram you can put filters, Snapchat you can change a lot of things…that’s what really makes BeReal different,” Tomlinson said.

BeReal may be creating a more positive outlook on the world of social media by eliminating the editing aspects that have been used for years on all platforms. BeReal shows the reality of being a human. Whether your BeReal is a picture of you doing your homework, or walking in Times Square, you are able to document a memory to look back on once every day.

“I get to see what everyone is up to!” Valdez said, “It’s just an overall fun app!”

Shown here is a BeReal posted by AHS senior André Valdez with AHS Spanish teacher Rosana Brewer and fellow seniors Mason Lyons and Royce Tuel.
Shown here is a BeReal posted by AHS senior Drew Taylor with fellow AHS students at a football game.