DAA Daily

New Social Media App BeReal Raises Concerns About Online Safety

By Natalie Chamwada, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint

We teenagers, from all around the globe, don’t necessarily consider internet privacy to be a genuine concern. Adults, on the other hand, would describe our “what is there to lose?” mentality as reckless. During the summer of 2022, Generation Z has been carelessly sharing all details of their lives on the internet due to the prominence of a new, trendy social media platform.

The platform in question is BeReal; An app first released by Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau in 2020. The social media platform notifies users that “It’s time to Bereal” at a random moment every day. The users must take an unfiltered picture of whatever it is they’re doing and share it with their friends within a time span of 2 minutes.

A student wishing to remain anonymous claims that they think that “Bereal is an interesting app,” and that “It’s fun when [they] get to see what [their] friends are up to.” Another believes that “the most unsafe feature is sharing location.”

While the app was created with the intention of social networking amongst friends, adults find it to be an area of concern. This is because users can easily interact with strangers and the time and location of posts are shared with the public. These are all reasonable grounds for dismay, but let’s keep it real– It’s not that serious.

There are several features that allow for further privacy. Firstly, the user is allowed to choose whether to post in the ‘discovery’ tab, where the image and the location of the user can be seen by anyone on the app, or in the ‘friends’ tab where the post is only seen by the user’s friends. Additionally, there is no private messaging function and users may only communicate through comments, emojis, and a key feature– ‘RealMojis’. In the case of a stranger’s misuse of the app, users are also able to report them. The age demographic of BeReal users are 13-17 years– Relatively responsible individuals with a grand handful of courage to spend, I would say.

As adults worry about online privacy and safety, they usually fail to address technology’s strengths. Cyber security has developed significantly over time. Online security has strengthened so much that even wireless technology in cars have their own form of malware security. For example, threat detection and secure logins.

There’s enough internet security for the worst case scenario– Given how many precautionary (though awkward) measures have been taken to prevent these future worries. So even though you, adults, have full reason to worry about internet safety, it’s really not that deep.

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