From the beginning, Charles Baxter uses the epigraph "We have transformed information into a form of garbage". I think it gives a clue to the readers what the author tries to say. As a garbage uses in a figurative way to represent information, he seems to worry losing values of information which is specially from an individual experience.In the first part of the essay "Shame and Forgetting in the Information Age" he states about his brother who had a trouble in learning printed information. Although his brother lived in the information age, he could not learn from those information. The only way to learn was experiences to him. I think Tom might imply a person who lived before the information age.
In the second part of the essay, he explains getting information with confusion from data and own experience. With the development of society, increasing the amount of information causes 'information-inflation'. As a result, he indicates that exposure too much information brings the confusion of the value of information.
In the third part of the essay, Baxter states how forgetting and shame come together with comparing information and experience.
Information-glut causes the loss of information. Likewise, autobiographers also cannot includes every memory and experience because there exists a time of data-glut in someone's memoir. In the forth part of the essay, he explains autobiographers and information age in the same way.
The purpose of this essay seems like to remind people of the importance of experience with living in the information age.