"Everything I Need I Get from You will fascinate aficionados, but even for someone who’s never so much as logged on, it makes a rich and heartfelt explainer on the feelings and phenomena that thrive on the internet." —Jenny Odell, author of How to Do Nothing
A thrilling dive into the world of superfandom and the fangirls who shaped the social internet.
In 2014, on the side of a Los Angeles freeway, a One Direction fan erected a shrine in the spot where, a few hours earlier, Harry Styles had vomited. “It’s interesting for sure,” Styles said later, adding, “a little niche, maybe.” But what seemed niche to Styles was actually a signpost for an unfathomably large, hyper-connected alternate universe: stan culture.
In Everything I Need I Get from You, Kaitlyn Tiffany, a staff writer at The Atlantic and a superfan herself, guides us through the online world of fans, stans, and boybands. Along the way we meet girls who damage their lungs from screaming too loud, fans rallying together to manipulate chart numbers using complex digital subversion, and an underworld of inside jokes and shared memories surrounding band members' allergies, internet typos, and hairstyles. In the process, Tiffany makes a convincing, and often moving, argument that fangirls, in their ingenuity and collaboration, created the social internet we know today. “Before most people were using the internet for anything,” Tiffany writes, “fans were using it for everything.”
With humor, empathy, and an insider’s eye, Everything I Need I Get from You reclaims internet history for young women, establishing fandom not as the territory of hysterical girls but as an incubator for digital innovation, art, and community. From alarming, fandom-splitting conspiracy theories about secret love and fake children, to the interplays between high and low culture and capitalism, Tiffany’s book is a riotous chronicle of the movement that changed the internet forever.
Doling out droll insights alongside expertly dissected tweets, Atlantic staff writer Tiffany takes readers down the rabbit hole of the internet, One Direction, and rabid fandom in this immensely entertaining debut. Tiffany maps the rise of "stans" "the portmanteau of stalker' and fan'" shedding light on what she argues is the women-led demographic's bottomless power in the digital age. As she traces the history of stans from Beatlemania in the '60s to the 2010s frenzy around "the first internet boy band" One Direction, Tiffany cleverly reframes the screaming fangirl, typically seen as a hormonal "teeny-bopper," as a figure with unimpeachable agency who controls the influencer economy, engages deliberately in activism (crashing police apps via fancams during 2020's BLM protests), and can sway Billboard top 100 charts with ease, as when Harry Styles fans manipulated streaming services in 2017 to "juice the numbers" for his first solo single. Well-versed in this subsect of internet culture thanks to her own passion for One Direction she fondly quips that the group's arrival in her life was "like being yanked out of the crosswalk a second before the bus plows through" Tiffany remains archly self-aware throughout, assuming an alternately waggish and reverential tone that perfectly captures the absurd genius of this influential army of women. Stans will want an encore.