What Came Before Post-Truth?

January 20, 2021

We currently live in the Post-Truth Era, but the Pre-Post-Truth Era was not the Truth Era.

Consensus came before.

As the clock struck 2015, we didn't suddenly begin believing lies out of nowhere. Humans have always preferred believing stories over facts. What changed was whose stories were being told.

Before the internet and social media destabilized our collective conception of reality, our prevailing narrative was the story told by the powerful. This whitewashed version of truth was not an accurate descriptor of reality.

We believed America was a special place, and bad things could never happen here.

We believed our political system to be an unexploitable strength.

We believed people were treated equally under the law.

We believed bringing democracy overseas would help foreign peoples.

Our shared consensus reality ignored the stories of minorities, the disadvantaged, and the distant. Despite platforming conspiracy theorists and white nationalists, social media has empowered the voices of many our society has unjustly overlooked.

What comes after Post-Truth can't be a return to a singular narrative of history. No matter how powerful that story is, no individual narrative can accurately reflect the sum total of our collective experience.


© 2020 Connor Daly