Travel editor Colleen McShane debates whether or not the young app, BeReal, is an effective form of documenting your travels.
To BeReal or to be in the moment, that is the question. I suggest, why not both? In the twenty-first century, documenting our travels through photography remains a huge phenomenon. Now with the introduction of apps such as BeReal, social media steadily attempts to stray away from a calculated, adjusted photo with perfected lighting, and starts to make travel photography more candid with features such as timers and countdowns.
Now with the introduction of apps such as BeReal, social media steadily attempts to stray away from a calculated, adjusted photo with perfected lighting, and starts to make travel photography more candid with features such as timers and countdowns.
As someone who has always enjoyed both the authenticity and sentimentality of travel, and possesses a ‘live in the moment’ mentality – BeReal has become the perfect solution for people who want to both enjoy their travels with their eyes, and quickly capture the memory for later with their smartphone.
Although I use BeReal more for documenting specific moments of my life, the app allows me to also share these experiences with my friends. This sharing feature is another pro for travellers looking to either promote their travels or spark conversation in a less staged and deliberate environment.
I remember taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Alicante in 2022 with my mother who is deathly afraid of water. She followed along because I didn’t want to go alone, and when we were there, my BeReal timer went off. Although not my most perfect picture, I look back on it and forget why I even had my phone in the water, and instead reminisce of how proud I was that my mother conquered one of her fears, even if it was only a quick dip in the shallowest of waters. BeReal allows me to remember the smell of salty water, my mother’s smile, and the deathly fear of losing my phone in the ocean.
BeReal takes little thought or effort; when that timer goes off, whether you are lucky enough to have a perfectly timed view of the Northern Lights in Norway, a surprising, unplanned rainbow on your commute home from university before your eyes, or even a moment with your mother on the beach, you possess that quick-passing memory forever, planned or unplanned.