I recently heard the term “context collapse” in a podcast discussing the possible flight of the younger audience from some social media applications. It is unclear who originally coined the term in the early 2000′s, which initially referred generically to the overlapping circles on social media leading to a poster’s inability to focus on a single audience. In the podcast, the meaning was more specifically defined to identify the clash of incompatible social circles: college acquaintances, close friends, family, and work connections (especially management). That incompatibility leads to an abandonment of the media or couching postings in coded terms that are (supposedly) only understood within a specific circle.
Yes, that’s exactly why I decided to leave Facebook. I didn’t realised there was actually a term for it. The post on STC goes on to describe another case of Context Collapse involving accessibility testing, which the team eventually dealt with by getting actual disabled people to test the product. It’s a very interesting read.