Stop using BeReal like Instagram

Some of you are using BeReal exactly the way it was intended to be used. For that, I applaud you. But some of you are using it in a very, very wrong way. You people know exactly who you are.

For those unfamiliar, BeReal is a social network that’s an anti-social network in many ways. The app sends a notification to all users at a randomized time, informing them that it’s “time to BeReal.”

At first glance, on paper, it looks like the opposite of Instagram. The latter is frequently utilized to post mindlessly curated selfies in large groups of adoring fans.

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You post your best moments and, crucially, do not post anything else.

But BeReal can’t be curated — or at least, the intention is that it not be. It’s the real you.

A scroll through Instagram may make you feel like you re the only one spending your Friday night glued to your screen while everyone else is out partying, but a scroll through BeReal reminds you that you are not alone.

It’s oddly comforting — it’s perhaps the most effective online cure for FOMO there is.

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At least, that’s the intention.

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But you people are aware of exactly who you are, and BeReal has a fatal flaw that I believe is drastically harming its intended objective: the BeReal notification doesn't expire.

You may post one BeReal at any moment, even though you do not have to do so before the alert goes out.

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As a consequence, there is very little stopping people from using this app the exact same way they use Instagram stories.

BeReal is a site where you enter a social contract. I, as a member of BeReal, am opening part of myself to you.

Here is my case