Selfies: Your first time?

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 6.53.58 PMOH HAI 2001

I’m Terri Senft (New York University, USA), and together with Gaby David (EHESS, France), I’ll be running the online conversations for this week of our Studying Selfies course. I’m excited!

Since this week’s topic is selfie and identity, I thought I’d begin with one of my first memories of selfie production. These are from a webcam I ran 24/7 in my house, while working on my book Camgirls: Celebrity and Community in the Age of Social Networks. This is not a plug for my book (it’s old news now–the date on these photos is 2001!) but rather a  prompt to get you thinking about your first selfies.

Can you remember when you started taking photos of yourself? Can you recall when the practice started getting popular among your peers? Did it have to do with developments around technology (e.g. folks getting their first camera phones), developments around peer performance of self (e.g. posting moments of life on Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat etc.), developments around siblings (e.g. your sister or brother was doing it), or something else entirely?

Let me know. I’m interested! Stories, photos–all are welcome.

PS: For those interested long post on the first photo reads, ” Because I am not talking to you, it does not follow that I am a bitch.” Ah, youth.


I teach global media at New York University, and write about digital culture, gender, sexuality, race, celebrity, branding, ethics, and aesthetics.

2 Comments on “Selfies: Your first time?

  1. I remember my birth of selfies. It was because of MySpace which was very popular at the time. All of my friends had accounts so I decided ton create one. A profile picture consisted of a selfie which I followed suit with. So this was the start of selfies for me.

    • Terry do you remember what year that was? I never really got into MySpace, because among the folks I knew, it was almost entirely where people with bands hung out! Do you know danah boyd’s work on MySpace? So fascinating…

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