In The Postmodern Condition, Jean-Francois Lyotard warned that as the age of technology progressed, society would experience a deepening conflation of information and knowledge. Thirty-six years later, information scrolls past people at almost immeasurable rates; those people, in turn, costume that information as knowledge and send it singing and dancing onto social media platforms that masquerade as curators of epistemic claims. Take this blog post, by way of a simple example; you may glean some information about me while reading, but that doesn’t mean that you know me.
It’s possiblethat someone will take pull-quotes from this post and make claims about me, either good or bad, on their social media platforms. But, those pull-quotes will most likely be ripped out of the context of me, of who I actually am. Anyone who interacts with those pull-quotes without ever having met me or had a conversation with me are running the risk of constructing opinions of me based on contexts and definitions of terms that don’t relate to me. In short, people have the opportunity to claim to know things about me when, in fact, all they may have is de-contextualized information. While that may not technically be why I deactivated my Facebook account, it definitely has skin in the game.