The Twist: The pitfalls of BeReal


Maya Palavali

The newest internet phenomenon is an app designed to interact with friends through photos, dubbed BeReal. The Sidekick staff cartoonist Maya Palavali warns prospective users to proceed with caution using a list of grievances.

Maya Palavali, Staff Cartoonist/Writer

The Twist is a humorous column about life in Coppell. Please be warned that any and all disdain towards any topic is due to the writers’ similar situation as adolescents (even though we feel so much older). You, the reader, should not take any of these words to heart. Seriously. If this article makes you laugh, leave a comment.

I would like to preface this column by saying that I am very much a fan of BeReal. However, I must address some aspects to those who are considering joining the “BeRealers.” So, my dear readers, read with caution.

Let’s start by defining BeReal. According to the official website, the app is designed to notify everyone simultaneously to take a picture in two minutes. That is right– EVERYONE; otherwise you are “late.” Innocent enough, right? Oh reader, you could not be more wrong. Here are the untold pitfalls of BeReal.

1. Don’t be late– you’ll regret it: The first problem is the limit on what is the “socially acceptable” time to post. After a mere two minutes, the app closes your opportunity to view other posts until you post. To top it off, BeReal then adds how late you are, even if it’s a couple minutes. As a teenager, the thought of potential ridicule should scare you. I advise you: to enjoy this app, you must either post on time or be a chill person (I suggest the latter).

2. The inevitable photobombs: Ah, yes: the timeless photobomb. There are two ways to be a photobomber – the taker and the bystander. When taking a BeReal in public, there will always be people. When taking a picture, you are vulnerable to a potential embarrassing moment. Can you stand the thought of a disapproving face caught digitally forever? Even worse, you can be in the background of someone else’s picture. You could look absolutely terrible. You must be vigilant to this new threat.

3. Angles are everything: Just as any picture, the unofficial rule is: good angles. Some are blessed with the ability to look flawless, but most of us are not. You must be aware of what you are taking; the selfie is vital and you must not ruin it. This is the only opportunity where you can routinely show yourself off. Research the best angles online. Practice faces in the mirror. Never let yourself post a bad angle, ever.

4. Sometimes, people BeFake: Instagram is notorious for staged photoshoots. As a solution, BeReal gives users a short amount of time with both cameras taking a picture simultaneously. The creators of this app did not realize the extent teenagers would go to make their lives look like paradise. We found a hack where you can flip the phone after taking the initial picture onto another subject. Even if someone is late, people value their aesthetic. When people are notified, chaos ensues. A frenzy to look perfect infects everyone until the picture is taken. I have been a part of this prevalent problem and will continue to be. Be wary of staged pictures and its appeal.

5. Alerts can happen at the worst moments: The app notification goes off at random intervals daily, and you must turn your volume up for notifications. This holds many opportunities for embarrassment- and gets you in trouble. Imagine you are taking a test and a loud ding echoes in the quiet. Get ready to visit your assistant principal. Or, even worse, it could strike at serious events. Weddings, funerals, quiet theaters; the world becomes a threat as soon as the app fully downloads. Your own worst enemy is the one thing you rely on.

6. BeReal FOMO: A devastating part of BeReal is the fear of missing out. The worst feeling is to feel actively not part of someone’s picture. Rejection stings, even more so as you grow older. There is a reason why this acronym was created: to capture a feeling many relate to. BeReal allows people in the same location and outing to take a picture with each other. It can hurt if you find out everyone is hanging out without you through a BeReal.

Again, this is not to deter you. BeReal makes you feel seen. I just want to warn anyone deciding; I am passing on essential knowledge. Take the time to ruminate over my words. I wish you the best. Before you BeReal, BeCareful.

Follow Maya Palavali (@mvpalovalley) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.