Khyiah Angel’s new book ‘don’t friend me’ explores the phenomenon of cyberbullying in youth culture, putting its characters in the thick of some very serious issues commonly faced by Australian teenagers today. ‘don’t friend me’ presents the reality of what can happen when social media blurs the home/school boundaries impacting on both in unimaginable ways.
The novel is about a group of teenaged friends who set up a fake social media profile for one of their own. It is a prank that quickly escalates and then spirals out of control when a post on the fake profile unwittingly goes viral. Best friends, Sophie and Mitch, find themselves on opposite sides of the ensuing drama and while they are forced to navigate the intense, sometimes brutal, nature of the high school social landscape in an attempt to reconnect, they become embroiled in a series of events with devastating consequences from which they may never recover.
don’t friend me is an important book for young Australians in its application as an educational tool. The book, while providing an entertaining story, serves to allow students and teachers a way to bridge their understandings of the inherent issues in using social media and work to create an overall safer environment for themselves and their peers.