Category Archives: PLN

Day 10 – Coolness?

Well, day ten has brought a new perspective to the app. I hounded 40+ friends to download the app and I was successful at getting 5 to do so. I will say that the notification chime is slightly less “triggering” and more intriguing at this point. Having friends post at the same time is exciting. You can see what people are genuinely up to and reply with emojis (which are made with your own face) or comments.

My newest appeal to the app is that I know there is nothing to see unless the app has notified my friend group to post at that moment or it notifies me that a friend posted late so I am not spending countless amounts of time on the app. It notifies and I post, I check to see who else posted, then I move on.

I ran into some old students at this week’s district track event and they found it humourous that I had BeReal. I assured them I had nothing exciting to ever post or share. I asked what the appeal was for them and only a handful admitted to using it but they said they did the same, quickly posted, scrolled, and closed it. I supposed I like that they’re not addicted to another app that generates endless screen time.

Does anyone have experience with kids or students using or talking about the app?

Days 2-7: I’m Uncool

Well, well, well, days two through seven of using BeReal have not resulted in much success as I have swiftly realized that I am vastly uncool and unmatched for such an app. Yes, it is true that I was already aware that I am uncool (I tell my students this all the time) but I was not aware that I could no longer use all forms of social media to their full potential due to my low-level-popularity status on the newest apps.

I am now aware.

My friend list consists of 5 people now, thanks to Kara adding me while also on her BeReal journey. Surprisingly, more of my friends are not on the app since the majority of downloaders are said to be millennials and Genz age. I may do some posting and friend phishing to increase my app activity. How do I know I’m still wildly unpopular? My notifications and feed are bare with the exception of just 2-3 people updating their posts. This lets me know that I don’t have many friends or followers because an interesting feature of the app, and its main attraction, allegedly, is that a friends list is notified at the same time to “be real” so not only will you update your current whereabouts but so will your friends so you can all see what you’re doing at the same time (if nobody is late posting). Click here to read more about it.

Following the initial day, I received the daily notification to “be real” and have not yet been tardy on my posts again. Being on maternity leave warrants me enough free opportunities throughout the day to snap photos on time (when the notification arrives). They are usually of my son or my laptop (or both). I’m still getting blurry shots because it takes the app a few seconds to register the photo and if you move at all the photo is blurry - I have a 50%+ STAT of blurry photos. I’m working on it.

blurry 1.png
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This week I decided to spend some time discovering more about the app both organically and online. I realized I can comment and react with emojis to others’ posts. I have yet to receive one - again, I’m very uncool on the app - also off the app. I also realized that my photos are stored within the app and I can review them at any time. I have yet to decide if I’m comfortable with this feature but I suppose it really isn’t much different than any other app with my photos uploaded to it.

CHAT - apparently this is a feature on the app but I have yet to discover it - likely because I have nearly nobody to chat with - again… uncool. I’m wondering if this app feature is modelled after SnapChat (instant photos and chatting - hmmm)?

I had hoped that this weekend of camping would bring some exciting content to my feed and even proof that I have friends, but, of course, the app never notified me while I was near other humans. I think it targets certain users and makes them appear lonely - I’m this user.

After some research, I see the promise behind the idea of the app. The creator wanted an app that connected friends and family through unfiltered, unposed, real-life moments and shows reality versus a constant montage of edited unrealities. The app is a fight against everything we are trying to reverse in the world of social media influence right now: fake news, comparisons, self-image issues, etc. Knowing the thought behind its creation, I find it less ‘stupid’ and more… hopeful? I have now sent the invite link to over 20 friends and hope that 2 or 3 pick it up!

Cons of the app include no parenting control, easy connection with unknown users, and people knowing your whereabouts. Which is greater? The pros or the cons? I’ll have more feedback and thoughts on this later this week!

P.S. I’m still not finding the “world-wide” feed entertaining. I’m not interested unless I know the people.

Stay tuned for more uncool posts.

Day One: This is Stupid

What is BeReal? This was my first thought when someone in my EC&I 831 class typed it into the class chat. I had never heard of it, granted, I’ve been on medical and maternity leave now for 6 months and it’s my students that typically keep me “cool” and in the loop on the latest developments. They also feel the need to tell me when fashion trends change and if I need to update my look… because they care?

Our latest Networked Learning Task is to dive into learning a new social media tool so I decided to jump right in. No pre-reading on how to use it or what to do. All I read was that users are sent a notification each day at a random time and they have 2 minutes to snap a photo or video of what they’re doing in REAL time. So, there will not be a lot of links in this initial post as I’m discovering it organically today. Links will be provided in future posts after further use and research.

click the photo to check out their app

My initial thought: this sounds stupid.

My secondary thought: let’s give it an opportunity to prove me wrong.

I downloaded the app. Registered for an account. Synced my contacts to my friends list (turns out my circle hasn’t quite picked up the trend yet so my friend list is 4 people long thus far), and waited for my first instruction.

It asked me to take a snapshot of my surroundings and then once I was done it told me to smile and not move. This resulted in an incredibly unflattering photo of myself. All the while there’s a cock counting down the 2 minutes. I’ve never felt such pressure before from a social app!

Turns out I thought that was it and forgot to hit the final button to share that snapshot and it resulted in me being “late” and not uploading within the 2-minute time frame. For this, I was penalized my second opportunity to BeReal that day. If you make it in time you’re allotted a second chance to BeReal within the same 24 hours. So, on my first day of using the new BeReal app… I was tardy and consequences were handed out.

My thoughts after the initial utilization of the app: this is stupid.

50 minutes later, my phone pinged with a BeReal notification and my body surged with intrigue! Had the app changed its mind and I was being given a second opportunity?


A friend had uploaded her snapshot of being in her car with 2 friends.

My thoughts: umm… cool. This is stupid.

Now what? Then I noticed the “Discovery” option at the top.


A bunch of random people from around the world who have the app and their daily uploads.


So, in conclusion to day one of using BeReal:

  • I’m not cool enough to know people who are using it. You can find me on it as Kolt’s mom.

  • I’m bored with the app. It seems to attract mundane and useless contact much like the beginning wall posts in the early days of Facebook.

  • So, it’s like worldwide Snapchat?

  • Is it safe? Is this a way for people to see where you are and what you’re doing at any point in the day? Have we not learned our lesson from the Bling Ring crimes?

My Relationship with Social Media

As most millennials hate to admit, our social media journey began with mundane updates about what we were doing each second of the day and how it made us feel. Pointless wall posts on Facebook about watching T.V., being bored, or partying. Not to say today’s youth are much more evolved but we could all agree the technology is.

My relationship with social media began with AOL and MSN messenger but took a huge leap in the summer of 2007, right after I had graduated from high school, with the launch of Facebook. The obsession, unlike others, took a few years for me to acquire. I was an outdoors kinda gal and liked to spend the majority of my time with nature or friends and family.

The real social media hook developed years later when Instagram entered my universe. I had just finished my second degree and was looking at launching my first home business, a nutrition company focused on customized meal planning, nutritional advice, and free recipes. This soon developed over time to include meal-prepping classes and e-cookbooks. To say that social media had created a free advertising platform was not nearly enough credit for how far it had taken me and my business @roxysnutrition. I was collaborating with other companies and was even featured as a recipe developer by the age of 26 on a paleo website looking for new recipe content (see my paleo pancakes here). My relationship with social media was one of positivity and endless opportunity but nutrition was just the beginning.

In 2020, the year of covid, I found myself with more free time than ever before. I decided to take on the challenge of adapting unit plans and activities to a new form of teaching. I joined a pilot program in my school division for unit writing about blended learning and soon was asked to host PD’s on my newly acquired teaching style, Thinking Classroom by Peter Liljedahl. My units were becoming highly popular with colleagues in and outside of my school and school division. A friend suggested I capitalize and post them on TpT for profit. Sask Thinking Classroom is now my second home business for which I can thank social media for free advertisement and an entourage via Instagram.

In July of 2020, my husband and I were faced with a horrific life event. Shortly after being sent to work from home, we found out we were pregnant. This was after two long years of trying. Nine weeks later we lost our first child. Social media (Instagram) was an outlet for me to share my story. It was suggested I find an outlet to release my grief and what I found was an overwhelming amount of support and connections with those who had faced the same situation. Two months later we faced it again. Three months after that, again. Three losses in six months and I shared every step. In May of 2021, just 10 months after our first loss, we were faced with loss number four at 11 weeks, 4 days gestation. Unfortunately, I was too broken to even muster the courage to formulate a post about our experience. Not only had we lost another child but the surgery to safely remove everything was a failure and I was hospitalized again a week later after passing the fetus on my own and ending up with sepsis. I couldn’t put into words was I was feeling or what we were experiencing. A close friend had reached out and asked if I felt like sharing, knowing well that it was typically therapeutic for me. I responded that I had wanted to but didn’t know how to word it. She suggested a podcast episode on her Instagram Live channel and she’d take care of the rest.

This was the first time I felt hesitant to share my life on social media. I actually felt that I now owed it to my followers to share my story instead of using the outlet as a form of self-expression and healing. In hindsight, I don’t regret it. Many of my followers, and hers, tuned in and shared their appreciation for making them feel like they weren’t the only ones in the world hurting or having to suffer in silence.

It was after this that I took a full social media and life break. My husband and I had decided to only do things that brought us joy and not worry about having a family. I shut the social media world out and spent my spring, summer and fall of 2021 camping, fishing, and hunting. The break(-up) was needed from social media.

Upon returning to the online world I reformatted how I wanted to approach my online presence. I focused on productivity, positivity, and resilience. I came face-to-face with the fact that children may not be our future (somebody has to be the statistic) and that I would spoil my students instead of having my own babies. I applied for my Master’s degree and adjusted my attention to that. Three weeks into my first course I found out I was pregnant. No, I did NOT post on social media. Two weeks later we lost baby number five. I decided not to fret but only seven weeks later I had been going through weeks of illness and was worried I had another gut infection. When my test results returned we found out we were pregnant, again. Baby number six now goes by the name Kolter Prystupa and my social media content has changed, again.

In the nearly 20 years that I have been engaged on social media, I have gained a vast amount of not only followers but friends; a professional learning community. A teaching learning community. A mom learning community. A healthy food and lifestyle learning community. Though there have been ups and downs I don’t regret a single step in my journey for it brought me to where I am today and to the people I choose to interact with now. Social media didn’t change my life, it supported my life, re-routed my life, clarified life, fogged life’s path, and brought new life stories. my relationship with social media is a good one.