What happened: Taylor Lorenz, the middle-aged Washington Post reporter who covers teen internet culture, wrote a book called Extremely Online about how corporate advertisers learned to optimize profit margins by paying children to sell things to other children on the internet.
What happened next: Extremely Online, released October 3, sold fewer than 4,000 copies in three weeks, according to publishing figures reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The vast majority of those sales (3,270) occurred in the first week; the book sold 457 copies in week two and just 265 in week three. Big yikes, fam.
Why it matters: The dismal sales figures are not entirely surprising. In fact, they appear to validate Lorenz's portrayal of TikTok and other social media apps as superior alternatives to increasingly irrelevant "legacy media" outlets—the Washington Post and Simon & Schuster, among others.
Crucial context: TikTok is a Chinese cyber warfare operation that wreaks havoc on the mental well-being of America's youth and has hopelessly impaired their ability to understand what's going on in the world. It is bad, not good.
Be smart: Extremely Online is a mindless exaltation of the social media revolution and the children who became multimillionaires by filming themselves harassing strangers in public. The only people who could possibly find this subject matter compelling are mentally damaged young people who don't read books and probably can't even read because their brains and attention spans have been decimated by social media addiction.
Bottom line: Young people should learn how to read so that they can enjoy books that are actually good. Extremely Online isn't one of them.