Time to Be Real?: Nostalgia, Authenticity, and the Digital Return to the Everyday
Jasmine Banks, Mel Monier, and Olivia Stowell / University of Michigan

Jasmine Banks, Mel Monier, and Olivia Stowell examine the desires for authenticity and nostalgia at the core of BeReal’s affordances. These authors argue that the staying power of this app is yet to be seen, the structures of feelings evoked and constructed through the app’s design points towards enduring subject-making processes of the digital.

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Formatting the Real
J.D. Swerzenski and Brendan McCauley/ University of Mary Washington and University of Massachusetts-Amherst

J.D. Swerzenski and Brendan McCauley examine how BeReal creates discursive boundaries of reality through its format and platform design. The authors argue BeReal shows how our contemporary conception of “real” is always already produced by and for screens.

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Everyone Stop What You’re Doing, And be Real: Conceptualizing BeReal as a Live Public
Zari Taylor / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

You’re working remotely at a local coffee shop. Waiting at the baggage carousel for your suitcase to arrive at the airport. Attending the funeral of a loved one. Standing in line at the bank. Suddenly, your phone pings with an all too familiar notification. It’s time to BeReal.

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