• Jenn Kalchik

Book Review: Follow Me

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

As a digital marketer, I'm fascinated with social media. I originally created my Facebook account in high school when Facebook first opened up to non-college students. I even had to help some of my friends and family set up their accounts. I managed to turn social media into a career when that wasn't a possibility in the past, and I'm always eager to see how social media can be used. However, I know that social media can be used for harmful and dangerous things, which is what intrigued me when I first heard of "Follow Me". Kathleen Barber's "Follow Me" shows us the danger of oversharing on social media.

The premise is that Audrey is a twenty-something with a new job as the social media manager at the Smithsonian and thousands of Instagram followers. She carefully curates her life with the perfect presets, thoughtful captions, and sometimes an over-sharing, self-centered personality. However, what she doesn't realize is that from day one when she started to share her life online, she gained a loyal follower. And by loyal, I mean obsessive. Obsessive to the point where he will do anything to meet Audrey and believes Audrey is the only girl for him.

I don't want to spoil too much before you get the chance to read this, but the stalker goes as far as to hack Audrey's computer webcam, which she does not have covered. For the stalker, without being named initially, we get to view his life and the pressure from his family to find a girlfriend. He does find a way to integrate himself into Audrey's life, but you're left guessing throughout the book who it is. One thing that bugged me while reading this book was how most of the blame was placed on Audrey. I don't want to defend that she was sharing too much information, or that she wasn't a self-centered narcissist, but no one deserves to be a stalking victim.

For my 2020 Reading Challenges, I used "Follow Me" for the following prompts and challenges:

If I can leave any words of advice about social media after reading this review, it would be this: be careful what you post and be careful what you click. Oh, and cover your webcam when you're not using it.

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