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It's Time to BeReal | Sydney Hecht

Sunday is a day for sleeping in. Well, usually.

Two weeks ago, Saturday was a busy day. I had gotten up early to work on the daunting, never-ending college essays I’d been falling behind on. I worked as an intern from 10:30 until 2, and then babysat for a particularly antsy kid until 11:00 that night. I went to my friend's house and stayed until 12:30, taking full advantage of the fact that the next morning, I would get to sleep in for as long as I wanted. I was home and in bed by 1:30am and was more than happy to turn off my phone knowing that the next morning, I wouldn’t be woken by an alarm.

A familiar sound woke me up at 8:08 the next morning. Half-awake and thoroughly confused, I rolled over to shut off what I expected to be an accidental alarm. Only, rather than the typical beeping of my phone and the overly encouraging option to snooze it, I was met with one, blaring, untimely notification reading nothing other than:

“It’s Time to BeReal!”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the app (and who need to come out from under the rock you’re living under), here is a brief explanation: BeReal is a recently made popular form of “social media” in which you are sent a random notification throughout your day. I say “social media” in quotes to emphasize that the app is actually unlike any other existing platform; rather than the curated, edited posts that most other social media allows users to share, BeReal takes quite the opposite approach. Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing when you receive the notification, you are given 2 minutes (if you are lucky enough that the app actually loads) to take a picture featuring yourself and your surroundings. The random timing of notifications– sent to users any time between 7am and 11pm– creates a collection of candid posts that brings a new, refreshing approach to social media today.

BeReal, especially over the last few months, has captured the hearts and minds of all its users. Unlike other forms of social media, the app allows people to get realistic glimpses into others' lives, an idea that has become lost in the fabricated posts and potential avenues for fame that other forums, like Instagram and TikTok, have to offer. BeReal has become my favorite app for many reasons: its candidness, for one, helps users see others in a more genuine way. The once daily notification gives friends the opportunity to check in with each other without spending more than five minutes on the app. It also gives users something to look forward to; getting the BeReal notification and taking funny pictures with friends has become one the best parts of my day. Although dramatic, BeReal has allowed me to become more confident in myself, build stronger connections with others, and curate a more holistic snapshot of my life to look back on in the future. Looking back on all of the memories I’ve captured over the last few months, whether that’s walking to the beach, sitting in class, or even just after waking up to your Sunday morning notification, I can say that without a doubt, I’ve grown more appreciative of all the little moments life has to offer.

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