From Instagram envy and selfie dysmorphia to destructive YouTube and TikTok trends encouraging people to eat Tide pods, slap their teachers, and steal Kias, social media has become more like antisocial media, amirite? But don’t fret! In a classic tech-world solution, here comes more tech to save the day. A new app called BeReal purports to bring us back to the good old days (say, 10 years ago) when people kept their social media vibe messy and realistic, oversharing on Facebook and sending boobies on Snapchat. What an innocent time.
The premise is simple: The app prompts users to post within a two-minute window at a random time every day, generating a social media footprint that is spontaneous, unfiltered, and therefore “real.” The app captures a moment with both the front-facing and selfie cam, creating a hybrid view that simultaneously shows the face of the poster and whatever they are up to at that moment. If you take more than two minutes to post, BeReal will let your friends know that you took extra time to fix your hair, kick your best friend’s boyfriend out of your bed, or find a cute animal to showcase.
“Maybe what we all just wanted was an app to see photos of your friends,” BeReal tweeted. No, BeReal, what we want is a government accountable to the will of the people, fair wages, time to rest, loving connection, global climate action, and our basic human needs met, but okay. The French platform is currently ranked number one on the Apple App Store’s “Top Free Apps” chart.
Of course, the Internet wasted less than no time memefying BeReal to the hilt, posting speculative #BeReal moments for Drake, Martha Stewart, and pretty much everyone else under the sun. The volume of BeReal memes has clearly overwhelmed the platform, which begged for mercy on Twitter last week.
But there will be no mercy. You want to #bereal about it? The internet is a vampire, BeReal, and it is set to draaaaain. Just hang on for the ride.
Already, the takes are coming hot and fast, with The Cut quoting early reviews of the app that highlight the “delightful way in which this forces an authenticity” and how the BeReal feed is “aggressively normal” in a good way. Yes, there can be no drawbacks if we continue to aggressively normalize the self-commodification of every living moment! The app is free, which means your data is up for grabs! It’s fine! It’s normal! Here’s more memes!!!
If you don’t understand the memes, congratulations, you’re too old for BeReal — but don’t worry, dinosaur! Instagram has already twigged onto the platform so you’ll soon be seeing BeReals clogging up your feed, already cluttered with targeted advertising, TikToks that break off at key moments, wellness memes, reels, and — ever so occasionally, like a unicorn appearing in the mist, only to disappear when you blink — a still frame picture of someone you care about. What a time to be alive.
Memories So Fair and Bright
Kimetha Vanderveen’s paintings are about the interaction of materiality and light, the bond between the palpable and ephemeral world in which we live.
Artists Contemplate Sovereignty in Santa Fe
The Santa Fe Art Institute’s 2024 International Thematic Residency focuses on what sovereignty means for artists from across the world.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
How Did Early Modern European Craftspeople Pass On Their Knowledge?
A new book about object making critically examines a written history of working with materials.
Dual Portrait of Old Master Rachel Ruysch Holds a Trove of Secrets
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just acquired the rare painting, which depicts the Dutch artist at work surrounded by her signature flora.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
Did Van Gogh’s Disdain for the Eiffel Tower Inspire “Starry Night”?
Art historian James Hall argues that van Gogh replaced the Eiffel Tower with a towering cypress tree and its inaugural light shows with the night sky.
Greek Museum Welcomes Dogs For World Stray Animal Day
Furry friends and their pawrents can visit Athens’s National Museum of Contemporary Art for free this weekend.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Ai Weiwei Recreates Monet’s “Water Lilies” Using 650,000 LEGOS
It’s the artist’s largest LEGO artwork to date.
Did a Simpsons Episode Predict the Florida “David” Outrage?
The episode, which aired 30 years ago, made a dark prediction about conservative politics in 2023.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Coasting the Topography of South Asian Futurisms
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Sadaf Padder presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
I’m a Florida Drag Queen and I’m Scared
I’m truly at a loss for what to do for work and what kind of life I can expect to live.