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BeReal: Why does the ‘unfiltered’ social network win over young people?

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The application does not allow changes and promotes a more “real” idea of ​​life; experts and users report benefits and disputes

One social network which does not allow pre-selected filters, edits, or photos. This is the proposal of Be realan application launched in France in 2020 and which has grown in Brazil in recent months, especially among teenagers and young people.

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The premise, at first, is quite simple: the app sends you an alert per day, at a random and unannounced hour, and asks you to record what you are doing at that moment.

Once the user logs into the app, they have two minutes to click a button that captures two images, one with the front camera and the other with the rear camera. After publishing, BeReal allows you to see the feed with your friends’ posts on the platform.

In addition to the “My Friends” tab, you can also access a “Discovery”, where people from all over the world post their records. In the privacy settings, the user can choose whether to share their photos only with friends or with the entire public.

More “real” life.

For the journalism student Nathalia Meirinho22 years old, the best thing about the platform is the ability to see the reality of people and things that they would not post on other social networks, such as Instagram.

“The other day the app sent the notification just as I was in the dentist’s chair. Normally I didn’t post a ‘story’ at the dentist, but that day I posted a selfie on BeReal and thought it was funny,” he says.

Escape from the mold already known in other social networks, in which users tend to prepare, modify and think several times before sharing content, is one of BeReal’s proposals.

On the App Store, application distribution platform from appleit is described as a “spontaneous and unpredictable” social network where you can share “your most authentic moments through photos”.

The strategy worked. Until the close of this report, BeReal was the fourth most downloaded free application in Brazil, behind only two video editors and the electronic title.

“The concept follows an entire aspect of the market that is about a more ‘natural’ life. This aspect ranges from food, to clothing, and culminates in new social networking platforms,” ​​he explains. Leonardo GoldbergPhD in Psychology from the University of São Paulo (USP) and author of the book The subject in the digital age (2021).

The expert warns, however, that the application “makes this call to the natural within a discursive structure that implies a continuous use of the application by the user”.

For Goldberg, even if BeReal deviates from the traditional method of Instagram, or Facebook, for example, it is still included in the consumption logic of social networks. “The paradox is precisely this: to demonstrate how natural you are periodically, once a day, to the application that brings together all the ‘naturals'”, she emphasizes.

On the other hand, this doesn’t seem to be a problem for users. “I don’t feel obligated to publish as soon as the app asks me, but I think it’s better to publish at the right time, I think it makes things more realistic,” says Nathália.

From “clean face”

The lack of filters and tweaks is also a highlight for BeReal fans. On Instagram, it’s rare for users to post stories to no effect, and the app itself has an image editor. TikTok allows tweaks such as nose, face tuning and skin tone change and the use of the tool is not even recommended for viewers.

Leonardo Goldberg explains that the problem with these resources lies in the fact that they promote an appeal to an impossible-to-achieve kind of beauty, but remember that a digital photograph already has several levels of editing.

“It depends on the subject’s cell phone and varies a lot according to the quality of his camera, and therefore makes the aesthetic dimension conditional on an economic issue,” he says.

This situation can be a determining factor in the mental health of young people. “I felt much more anxious and it was not uncommon to enter a cycle of self-confrontation as a result of using these networks,” says Nathália Meirinho.

The feeling is shared by Luana Rillo, 23-year-old administrative assistant. The young woman says she feels anxious using networks like Instagram and TikTok: “Too many filters, everyone always does something interesting, useful, funny. She makes me feel like I’m not living.”

For both, the BeReal proposal can help reduce anxiety related to the use of social media. They also note that they spend less time on the platform than other networks. “I have to spend less than 10 minutes on BeReal every day. On Instagram, my daily average is almost 2 hours”, comments Nathália.

* Trainee under the supervision of Charlise Morais

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Source: Terra

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