By Jason Lim
BeReal is the social media platform Gen Z has been waiting for. Growing up in humanity’s most internet-connected generation, we’re constantly bombarded with infuriatingly perfect pictures of our perfect friends “living their best lives,” leaving us shivering in a pockmarked landscape of anxiety and body dysmorphia. Thank God BeReal fixed everything for this generation. With only 2 minutes of notice, we’ll all post our real, unfiltered lives and connect online on a deeper level than ever before. In their words, BeReal has finally created “an authentic, spontaneous, and candid social network.” Our Utopia.
But that’s not BeReal’s reality. How is my 4.0-in-med-school friend clubbing during finals week? Did she just meet Justin Bieber, precisely 1 minute and 37 seconds after her BeReal notification? And I swear my cousin has never posted a BeReal where he isn’t surrounded by at least 4 friends. How is he this popular? I want all my friends to be more real on social media so that I can demonstrate that I’m better than them. Now my two precious post-notification minutes are spent in a mad scramble to make my boring-ass life look even a little cool. Two minutes to wipe these crumbs off my face and arrange the remains of this sandwich into something appealing. If I’m walking past a cool car when I get my notification, I’m posing with it like it’s mine. Don’t look at me like that. How am I supposed to be my most authentic self online when this is my competition?
Screw that. My friends don’t have more interesting lives than me, they’re just better at faking their BeReals. That clubbing picture, clearly a picture of a phone screen. Ok two phone screens, one in front and one behind. And Justin Bieber is photoshopped. Clearly. If you don’t see it, look closer. And I figured my cousin’s trick out too. He’ll just ask strangers to get in his picture. That’s why there’s so many new faces on his feed. And he’s paying them to smile and throw an arm around him. I’m sure of it. The problem with BeReal is that they have way too much time to set up their scams. What we need is an app that forces everyone to be authentic.
And that’s what we got. This week, the company behind viral social media application BeReal announced development of a new application, TwoReal. The company plans to take everything that made BeReal successful and refine the experience into the world’s most real social media. “Two minutes was too much time to potentially craft the ideal post,” said BeReal’s CEO. “Even worse, sometimes users won’t post because they’re afraid of not being exciting enough.” The new application perfects every aspect of how we interact with social media. According to the CEO, “Here at TwoReal, we know everyone wants to flex every second of their perfect life to as many people as possible. When our market research revealed that it was ‘cringe’ to post more than once per day, we knew we needed to act. With TwoReal’s 12-post-per-day minimum, it’s not just socially acceptable to dodeca-post… it’s mandatory!”
But how does TwoReal work? The key is an unobtrusive head mount that holds your phone in the ideal position to capture both you and whatever exciting thing you’re doing. (TwoReal’s scientists calculated this is 2 feet straight out from your forehead). At 12 random moments throughout each 24-hour day, the app alerts you with a loud beep that your TwoReal will be taken in 2 seconds. As soon as the shutter snaps, your TwoReal is shared with your whole network! It’s authentic social media at its finest! (No, there’s no way to delete the pictures).
Bradston, a 21-year-old college student, tested the new app for a day. Here’s what he posted:
5:51AM: Rise and shine! Bradston appears to have just been shocked awake by the application’s post notification. He’s squinting at the camera while sprawled on stained sheets. A pizza box and more than two socks lie next to him.
11:13AM: Bradston is still in bed.
2:01PM: Bradston is watching his friends’ TwoReals! There’s Kyle, his last 48 posts have just been him playing League in a dark room. Keep grinding! And there’s Gene Block back on vacation in the Bahamas. Running this school must be such hard work if he needs this many breaks. What’s that? It’s Connor, driving Bradston’s dream car to drive to class after a weekend in Malibu. Bradston’s fists tighten at his sides and jealousy flushes his cheeks. See how much fun and connection this app creates!
6:12PM: Bradston is still watching TwoReals. With 12 posts everyday from each of his 873 closest friends, there’s just so much authenticity to take in.
Bradston reported that he went out with his friends and had a great night at a crazy party. He was prepared for his TwoReal, ensuring he was never more than 2 seconds away from a photogenic pose. Unfortunately, he never got his TwoReal notification. Was it even worth going out if Bradston didn’t even get to show all his followers? They’ll never know that he’s a cool person worthy of their admiration. Sorry Bradston, but that’s authenticity.
1:04AM: This must be after the party, Bradston’s on his bed, in the dark. He’s watching Try Not to Cry ! 100% Emotional NBA Moments. Again Bradston? This is the third time this week. The laptop screen illuminates the tears streaming down his face.
4:31AM: An irritable Bradston shields his face from the flash with an obnoxiously cute teddy bear. Rest up Bradston, you have so many exciting posts to make tomorrow.