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BeReal: A Parents Guide

What is BeReal?

BeReal is an app that promotes authenticity. Aiming to get away from curated feeds, it asks users to be ‘Be Real’ in what they share and show true life. Users are prompted to post one photo per day to show their followers what they are doing in real-time. They have a 2-minute window daily from the time they get the notification. The user takes a photo that shows themselves and what they can see to give a full view of what they’re doing.

Who is using it?

Older teenagers and those in their early twenties.

What are the benefits?

It brings young people away from the curated and edited feeds and photos and promotes real life to all users. The notification to take a picture happens at any time of day, gives just a 2-minute window so there is no time to rearrange what you are doing.

What are the issues?

BeReal takes as much data as any other app. To sign up for BeReal, you have to provide your name, date of birth, and a phone number. BeReal uses this data to identify you when you log in, and while only your name is public, they keep all the data in their servers.

As with other apps users must be aware that they should not include any personal or sensitive information or clues as to where they are if they don’t know their followers when sharing photos.

Every time you post a photo on BeReal, that photo is saved to BeReal's servers. Same goes for any comments you make or RealMojis — reactions that use an actual picture of you — that you give. They stay there until three years after the last time you use the app. BeReal isn't the only one that can save these. Anyone who sees your BeReal posts and comments can potentially screenshot and share them.

You can ask BeReal to delete all of your personal data and content within that 3 years if you contact them directly.

What can parents do?

If your older children are using the app, make sure to talk to them about the dangers of social media and how to conduct themselves online. They should only allow friends or people they know and trust to follow them. Never include personal information or anything that may get them in trouble in school, work or college.