Are you fed up with the perfection, beauty and falsehood of some social networks? So, maybe it’s time to enter the app of the moment: BeReal — in free translation, something like SejaReal. Oh yeah, if you don’t give a shit about social media, you might think this week’s column is expendable. But stay here with me, the reflection goes beyond the virtual world.
Remember your first Instagram post? If you’re not a content production juggernaut (if you are, it can be time consuming to get to the beginning), stick around and take a look. Mine, back in 2011, was a photo of a job I was doing (at the beginning of this network, in case you didn’t know, the thing was to share photos. No videos, dances or market. Photos. Even a random series of photos. ugly feet —read real feet and no photo preparation — I posted). I went to take a look at this timeline and I even found a copulation of beetles… Ah, the digital childhood…
The baguio was highly clueless and careless. Zero editorial concerns. I deleted (actually, I didn’t even delete, I archived) very little — basically, photos of my children, because I understood that they shouldn’t be exposed (you can write 100 columns exploring this topic). But, many times, taken by owlishness, love and vanity, I posted pictures of the beautiful ones there.
It seems like yesterday, but 11 years later, both mine and the Corinthians fans’ feed have changed absurdly.
This happens not only on Instagram, but also on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and even LinkedIn. Many of the networks have become real business counters and a source of income for many, many people. It’s not a criticism, after all, billets never ends. A source of income for some and a source of anguish for others. After all, along with the professionalization of some of these platforms, there was also the overposting of “overtreated” content, of the best and most beautiful moments of (allegedly) perfect faces, bodies and lives.
With the proposal of precisely opposing this control and editing of what is shared, the French network BeReal emerged (which has been in existence since 2020). Last year, the app started to become popular among students in France and is growing day by day in the United States.
But then, what is the purpose of the application? Very simple: deglamorize the ride, share what comes at the time stipulated by the app. And what time is it? There it is. You never know in advance. The posts happen only once a day, at a time defined by the application in a random way. Users are notified about this time at the same time. When you click “post”, your phone’s camera opens and a two-minute timer starts to run. You only have this time available to publish.
The app always captures two sequential images — one from the back camera, which reveals whatever is around you, and another from the front camera (usually of your face at a bizarre angle). You have the option to post or not (phew, have you thought about the bullshit?). However, if you leave it for another time, the indication of how long after the “arranged” you posted will appear next to your photo. You only have access to other users’ posts after you post your zero glamor moment.
The network’s desire is to sweep away the competitiveness that other platforms have aroused among users, in addition to not overloading them with content. You go in there, post your weirdness (oops, your reality), take a quick look at others and leave. Just like me, you might be thinking, “If people are so fed up and anguished with social media, wouldn’t it be a good idea to put down your phone for a bit? Not look at or enter any apps at all? Be real in the analog world ‘memo’, without having to share your reality on digital?”
Well, I don’t know how definitively we are connected to our devices, social networks and digital life, but the idea of sharing and seeing real and unprepared moments of other humans can be reassuring for many. You post a picture of your lunch plate and then see that several other people have posted the same thing at the same time. It can give a sense of community, of humanity. Clean faces and messy sets, how about that? It remains to be seen whether in fact we can stand and want so much truth or if we are still going to go on looking for an ideal and suffering with the false ideal of the other. Ah, the human being… Nothing new under the sun.
Come talk to me? Here at @fabi.gomes.