Taylor Lorenz Makes Sense of Online Culture for the Rest of Us

The New York Times technology reporter is revealing how social media is encouraging individual expression.


Do you know the phrase OK, Boomer? It's an increasingly popular put-down voiced by younger people toward older people whom they see as out of touch or unworthy of serious engagement.

If you've heard the saying—or used it—the likely reason is because of today's guest, Taylor Lorenz, who covers technology and internet culture for The New York Times. Last fall, Lorenz popularized the term in a story declaring "the end of friendly generational relations" online. More recently, she's exposed how former New York City mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is spending millions of dollars on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media services to suddenly look cool, hip, and happening. She's also explained why viral vids shot in bathrooms outperform those shot in less private parts of the house. 

If you want to know what's happening online, especially among Millennials and Gen Z types, you've got to read Lorenz, who joined the Times after stints at places such as The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and Buzzfeed.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Lorenz talks about how TikTok, the ultra-short video platform out of China, enhances self-expression, why government regulation of online speech is always ultimately doomed to fail, and how the future depends on all of us developing media literacy in a hurry.

Audio production by Regan Taylor and Ian Keyser.

Related links:

Taylor Lorenz's New York Times archive.

Her personal website.

Follow Lorenz on Instagram.

Follow Lorenz on Twitter.