Tag Archives: Social Media

It’s time to “be real” on social media

Let’s be real, how many of us fake our Instagram posts, stories, and what we do daily? Hopefully, not everyone can relate, but the sad truth about our internet presence in today’s world is covered up with staged images and events. But recently, a new app that has been blowing up in popularity has the opportunity to change that, called BeReal. Whether you want to be real and show what you’re actually doing is up to you, however. 

BeReal was released in 2020 by French developers Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau and was available in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese. 

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR
Photo by Dziubi Steenbergen

The aim of BeReal is for people to show their friends and family what they’re doing at a specific time in the day. BeReal will send you a notification anytime in the day saying you’ll have 2 minutes to take your BeReal. Everyone who gets that notification then opens up the app and takes a picture of themselves and what they are doing at that moment. You then get to see your friends’ BeReal and find out what they’re doing. Even if you miss the time frame, the app is forgiving and will let you post a late BeReal. 

The app has recently gained traction over the past few months and now has become one of the most downloaded apps of 2022. Nothing like this was ever created, and it seemed like people loved the idea of it. 

To see what people thought about BeReal, we asked Freshman Jace Taranto and Mount DeSales Senior Holly Bruchalski their thoughts on the app. “I only have it to see what my friends are up to,” said Jace. “Overall, I think it’s pretty fun to see what people are doing at the same time you are,” replied Holly.

While it might seem like there is an overall positive vibe that BeReal has going for itself, some other aspects were brought up. Holly stated, “at the same time, it’s kinda hard to keep up with doing it every single day cause you still wanna enjoy your day without having to post about it.” It might seem like a chore to some and, to others, a way to brag about themselves. 

With it being the internet, people will find a way to fake their posts and make their life seem more extravagant just to get attention. From a man running to the Eiffel Tower to get it in his picture to a lady going out with friends and taking a picture with a guy from 7/11, or even at the mall and having an employee snap a photo. 

Photo by Humphrey Muleba

Recently senior Harry Kennedy asked a group of students in the class to stage his BeReal to show him receiving the Bocce Ball championship award. This is a fabulous example of people willing to wait to take their BeReal to show their friends something interesting in their life.  

From personal experience, it has been easy to notice scrolling through BeReal that people don’t always want to show that their life isn’t as great as perceived by others. Holly responded, “People should definitely be real with their posts since people want to know what’s going on at that given moment.” Would you agree with her or beg to differ? Does it now matter to people that the main purpose has been compromised by people who don’t want to “BeReal,” or is it still an app where people can share their lives without any filters?

Cooper Funk is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Jack Bieda is a Junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

How Musk’s Twitter purchase will change the platform forever

On October 27, 2022, both Twitter and the world of social media would change forever. On that fateful day, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, bought Twitter for $44 Billion. It is safe to say Twitter hasn’t been the same since Elon Musk purchased the company. Elon aimed to improve the platform, allowing for an environment where freedom of speech prevails. However, Elon’s decisions have debatably left a negative impact on the platform, with some questioning whether the platform is knocking on death’s door.

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In the first week of Musk’s domain of Twitter, hate speech surged on the platform due to Elon’s approval of unfiltered freedom of speech. The usage of the N-word in the first week was three times the usage for the entirety of 2022. 

However, Musk recently announced a new policy on freedom of speech. While this change allows harmful and hateful speech on Twitter, it will only make those types of tweets visible to those seeking them out. With this change, Twitter remains a place of freedom of speech but also allows users to avoid seeing hate speech on Twitter. With time, according to Musk, hate speech impressions have actually decreased from before the purchase. 

Along with his belief in complete freedom of speech, Musk unbanned Donald Trump, Ye West, and Andrew Tate. Trump was banned following the attack on the Capital after he promoted the actions taken. West was banned following his usage of anti-Semitic language(and recently had his account suspended again for “inciting violence”). Tate was banned for his misogynistic beliefs. Now, all three are back on Twitter and are free to say whatever they want.

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Not only has Musk shown his belief in freedom of speech, but he has also shown his democratic values while running Twitter. Musk has run numerous polls that have caused significant changes on Twitter. These polls include whether or not Donald Trump should be unbanned and if banned accounts should be given amnesty, barring illegal activity or spam. 

Another issue with Musk’s takeover of Twitter came with the new verification process. Before Musk bought the company, verification was given to companies and people to let users know whether they were reliable. However, Musk implemented a system where verification is given to anyone who pays eight dollars a week. This has caused impersonation issues, as users paid for verification and changed their usernames and icons to resemble a company or person.

However, a solution has arisen in an attempt to fix the problem. Tweets by companies, government officials, or any other powerful or influential person or organization are labeled “official.” That way, there can be a distinction between real, verified accounts and fake, verified accounts.

Since Musk’s takeover and drastic changes to the platform, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have stopped advertising on the platform. In response to this, Musk revealed a plan in which Twitter will match the spending of advertisers who spend $500,000 or more, up to $1 Million, in marketing value. With these advertiser incentives and an all-time high of active users, Twitter appears to be thriving under Musk’s leadership.

While Musk’s tenure had a rocky start, his frequent changes and new policies appear to be leading Twitter in the right direction. It is safe to say that Musk, and Twitter, have changed the social media world forever. Whether or not this new takeover will cause the platform’s demise is still up for debate. In the end, only time and the decisions of Musk will tell the ultimate fate of twitter.

Jimmy Thomas is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Aidan Bajadek is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

What’s new with St. Joe’s student media?

InstaGaelNews, IGN Sports, Tik Tok, Instagram, and more. How has MSJ Student Media evolved over the years?

Currently standing at just over 5,000 followers, MSJ’s Gaels official Instagram flies high with a strong admissions team behind it. But what about the student-operated social media accounts? Last year, the MSJ community was presented with a brand new Instagram account, @instagaelnews. But what exactly is the point of this new social media account?

Students from the Multimedia Journalism class broadcasting a Varsity Basketball game

Whether we like it or not, social media is a new way to receive news, photos, videos, and other content. This social media page gives students a way to receive information from around campus, including events, game themes, exclusive interviews, and other amazing content; for students, run by students. This opportunity also allows students to show off their editing and creative skills to present to the Mount community.

@instagaelnews is the official Instagram of MSJ’s Multimedia Journalism class and student newspaper. Created last year by graduate Ethan Webber, IGN started as a small Instagram page posting interviews with students, coaches, teachers, and players about events on campus, post-game interviews, and other content. IGN has evolved to something way bigger. This social media page is home to player interviews, game recaps, live streams, Quill articles, and other student-produced content.

Something brand new to Instagaelnews is IGN Sports, a student-produced live stream and sports content for the MSJ community. This new IGN brand will bring you the 2022-2023 MSJ Gaels Varsity basketball season, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes content, and much more.

The Multimedia Journalism class bought new cameras and live streaming equipment to give viewers the most professional stream possible. This will produce live stats, scores, and commentary. Unlike the NFHS stream, the new live stream will be free and available to anybody around the world. Instagaelnews is constantly pumping out fresh content for viewers who currently attend or work at MSJ and graduates worldwide.


The evolution across MSJ’s social media game has been remarkable. There are countless ways for students to keep up with events happening at their school and a method for graduates and other outside personnel to get a peek at what is happening inside and outside of MSJ. 

Quinn Wells is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class

Nick Paxton is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class

Understanding the negative effects of social media

How much time do you spend on social media?

Social media has changed the way that we interact with one another, and while it has had its positive impacts on the world, it also has adverse effects on our well-being.

Although it is okay to use and post on the various social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, it is important to take note that there are many ways that social media can be detrimental to both our mental and physical health.

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First, it can serve as a huge distraction. Everyone already knows this, and almost everyone has fallen victim at least once to the time sink of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, gaining little to no substance in the end. The key is moderation. This is something everyone has experienced doing, but it is important to actually put it into practice. It is way too easy to fall into the rhythm of scrolling for 20 minutes.

You may know this implicitly, but might not completely recognize right away, is that people commonly use social media to seek validation. They may post things as a way to express themselves, but ultimately, the goal of an Instagram post is to get a high number of likes and comments.

Something I noticed a while back is that often when someone posts something on Instagram, they will explicitly tell people to like and comment on that post. They shout themselves out on their Snapchat stories, and sometimes even ask other people to do the same. The phrase “like my recent” has become a common sight on Snapchat and Instagram stories. This is a testament to their need to receive likes, and positive reinforcement, on their posts.

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Seeing the number of likes go up is satisfying, and it can also be addictive. The need for validation becomes persistent and leads to comparing yourself to other people and their posts. You see that they have more followers than you do, and their posts get more likes and comments, and from there, the comparisons get worse and more frequent.

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Realize that what you see on social media is fake. No one’s life is as exciting as they are portrayed to be. People can easily doctor a photo to enhance their appearance. Knowing this is extremely important, because people can develop insecurities from comparing themselves to others on social media, and envying qualities that are seen as conventionally attractive, but are unattainable. This can lead to being self-conscious about your “faults” and even feeling depressed.

It is perfectly fine to be active on social media, because it is a fun way to stay connected with people and explore new ideas. However, if you notice that you are spending too much time scrolling through Instagram, or if you find yourself feeling insecure after seeing other people’s posts, then it is time for a break.

Gabe Henstrand is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.