"My first selfie": Experimenting with shame and visibility

  • Leonardo Pastor

Abstract

This article investigates everyday experimentation with shame and visibility in self-photography sharing on digital platforms. Based on empirical data produced in ethnographic research on selfie practice, I discuss the ways in which this type of practice is gradually becoming common place through a learning trajectory related to moments of exposure and shame. The objective is to analyze shame and visibility as practical differences that lead the research participants, each in their own way, to experience a development of exposure, learning, situated performances and impression management. Following a pragmatic perspective, the proposal is not to treat shame as a personal characteristic, or to identify what is visible or not in image sharing, but to treat them as experience. Through ethnographic work on participants’ photographic routines, I demonstrate that shame is part of the daily construction of the selfie as a practice. This is also observable, starting from the participants’ first selfies, when understanding selfie practice as an experimentation and negotiation capable of becoming present in the trajectory of conformation of this kind of image as a form of interaction with the other.

Published
2021-03-11
How to Cite
Pastor, L. (2021). "My first selfie": Experimenting with shame and visibility. First Monday, 26(4). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v26i4.11642