Taylor Lorenz is leaving the New York Times. The adult reporter best known for attending an internet celeb's 16th birthday party for "work" announced Tuesday she was joining the Washington Post as a columnist covering "technology, online life, influencers, memes, business, culture, & more!"
Lorenz, who is probably 37 years old (her true age remains a source of controversy), rose to prominence in 2018 by posting about the $22 avocado toast she ordered online. Since then, she has been the subject of more media profiles than any journalist in American history. Her latest career announcement, for example, was accompanied by an interview with Vanity Fair in which Lorenz threw shade at the Times for not taking her work "seriously" and struggling to "deal with talent" such as herself.
"I think that people do not understand my beat. They don't take it seriously," Lorenz told the magazine. "I think the Times is an incredible institution but mainstream media organizations have kind of struggled to figure out how they deal with talent." The celebrity journalist went on to suggest the Times was not comfortable with the way she uses "the internet as a modern internet person." (Whatever that means.)
Perhaps the biggest factor in Lorenz's rise to internet stardom is her obsession with TikTok, the Chinese spyware app that uses advanced algorithms to promote unhealthy phone addictions among American teenagers. For example, she was one of the only adult journalists to cover the "TikTokalypse" of July 2020:
Late Monday night, a group of male TikTok stars who belong to the Gen Z influencer collective known as the Sway House charged up the streets of the Hollywood Hills. They were on their way to the Hype House to confront a fellow TikTok star, Chase Hudson, 18, about comments he had made earlier online.
Some of the most high-profile teenage influencers, including Mr. Hudson, had spent the previous several hours waging war on each other online in an event that became known as "TikTokalypse."
They posted clapbacks on Twitter, stoked controversy on Instagram Live and shared cheating accusations using the Notes app. Top YouTubers like Tana Mongeau poured gasoline on the flames by reacting in real time on TikTok.
Lorenz has more than 500,000 followers on the spyware app. For the sake of comparison, Brooklyn Queen, the internet celeb whose 16th birthday Lorenz attended in 2021, has more than 5.5 million followers. Cybersecurity experts have warned that TikTok is a "magnet for pedophiles."
Lorenz hopes that joining the Post will allow her to grow her personal brand. "I just felt like I kind of hit a ceiling" at the Times, she said, adding that she looks forward to "building out this universe of my content and the different products I deliver to someone" as an influencer. "I'm the most online reporter that you can find," she boasted.