Hey everyone! Today I’m on the blogger tour for Follow Me, Like Me by Charlotte Seager and as well as a review, I also have a piece from Charlotte on the Dangers of Social Media and Mental Health which I will do first!
The impact of social media on mental health
When you’re bored, it’s easy to let your fingers slide open WhatsApp, Instagram or Facebook — and start endlessly scrolling. But all this tapping, sharing and liking isn’t so good for our mental health. In my new novel Follow Me, Like Me I explore how social media can all too easily become an obsession – in fact, in many ways social media apps are built to be addictive.
According to research, likes and notifications activate the reward centre in our brains, causing a rush of the feel-good chemical dopamine. This trick is used to trigger addictive behaviours like constantly refreshing feeds, posting updates and chasing likes and notifications.
Becoming hooked on reading your latest messages can also kill your attention span. A recent study found that heavy social media users performed worse at switching tasks compared to light social media users. This may be because notifications constantly vie for your attention, making it tricky to focus on one task at a time.
And that dopamine hit you get from likes and notifications? It can also disrupt your sleep. It keeps your mind alert and – along with the blue light emitted from devices – can easily keep you awake long into the night.
In Follow Me, Like Me both of the main characters, Amber and Chloe, start to become hooked on social media. Amber uses it in an addictive pattern to try to assuage her loneliness, while Chloe wants to portray the perfect image of her life.
Studies have linked social media use with an increased risk of depression and loneliness – but the key to all of this is balance.
When you start to feel social media is affecting your mental health, the smartest thing to do is to create a routine. Set fixed times around using the apps and curate your feed to only show you posts that inspire you. Make social media brighten, not dim, your real life.
Thank you to Amber & My Kinda Book for sending me a copy of this book to review!
Follow Me, Like Me by Charlotte Seager, is her second book, I’ve not read her first book, My Secret YouTube Life, but after reading this one I am extremely interested in her other and future works!
I decided to pick this one up to read on the day that I had gotten it as I was just drawn to it by it’s synopsis and cover and I managed to read half of it in a night and finished it off the next day!
This book is done from two points of view, we have Amber, the girl who no one seems to take notice of, the quiet one at the back of the classroom, who has an unhealthy obsession with her crush, Ren Moore.
Then we have Chloe, she’s the popular girl who everyone loves and wants to be. Chloe is getting cyberstalked and harassed online and no one but her boyfriend Tom believes her when Sven hacks her and does things that makes her life hell.
When Amber is trying to prove Ren’s innocence and Chloe is trying to catch Sven out, they both realise the dangers of social media. I ended up really enjoying this book, there were moments when Amber’s character was annoying me and I just wanted to shake her to get her to see that Ren wasn’t who she thought he was and I did get extremely nervous and worried for the characters throughout the book as I just wanted everything to turn out okay.
This book really points out the dangers of letting strangers into your life and showing how much information can be revealed by just the simplest of apps so that people can stalk you.