#TBTSelfie Part 1: My Earliest Selfie

Next month, I will be giving a TEDx talk at Syracuse University on the Psychology of Selfies. I’m sharing a throwback selfie each Thursday for the next 4 weeks leading up to that talk. Installment #1, my earliest selfie. Taken 20 years ago during freshman year of high school (1994-95), complete with bangs, scrunchie, and double chin.

I may have selfies from middle school, but this is the oldest that I could find. The selfie is often associated with our new media environment, where a camera is always available via smartphone, and the gratification of viewing, editing (including selecting which image and manipulating), and sharing the image is immediate; however, this environment only made the self-portrait easier to create and distribute.

My original selfies, much like Colin Powell’s (whose 60-year-old selfie I have tacked up in my office) were shot on film, and had to be sent away to be developed. Each image was more valuable due to higher cost and lower availability, so I held onto every print, even the ones that were unattractive or unflattering. These pictures were valuable to me. Raised as an only child, I captured my own emotions to share with myself; I would write letters to myself and occasionally send presents to myself from myself. In 2010, I pre-ordered an engraved iPod shuffle with the note, “You’re awesome.” It arrived 2 months later long after I had forgotten about it. Sometimes, I write thank you notes to my prior self for the things that she remembered and documented.

I’m certain that on the day I took this picture, I thought I looked good. I loved those bangs even though I had to blow out my corkscrew curls every morning. It was 1994, and I wanted to look like Alicia Silverstone. I’m sure if I search harder, I can find a selfie with a terrible cameo choker.


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I will be speaking at TEDxSyracuse University April 17!

I will be giving a talk on the “Psychology of Selfies” at the TEDx Syracuse University “Evolve” conference on Friday, April 17 at the Watson Theater on the SU campus! Free tickets will be made available for reservation very soon. http://bit.ly/19sVpjm

Read more about the event at The Daily Orange. And check out my quick bio on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for updates!

#TBTSelfie Part 1: My Earliest Selfie (March 26, 2015)


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Throwback Thursday #TBT: My Life Story

This week, I discussed the relationship between computers and psychology in my class “Psychology of Interactive Media.” Although many voices in this area jump to networked computers and the way we interact with others because of the internet, I have taken a week to specifically discuss the psychological impact of computers, sans-network. How has the invention of the home computer affected our cognitions, attitudes and behaviors? The ability to work from home, the expectation of professional quality content, the ability to journal digitally, all of these things have changed the way we think about our abilities as humans. I will also be sharing this “book.”


In 1990, I wrote “My Life Story” for my 4th grade class. I remember being so impressed because I used a computer. Even though the dot-matrix printer was on the fritz, requiring me to go back over the text with a pencil to make it darker, I really believed that this was a well composed autobiography. My teacher even said so on the back page. Now, we can print our own books with our own amazing pictures and binding for $20 and have it shipped to our homes. This digital sphere, networked or not, has impressive psychological power. Being able to construct my own “professional book” at 8-years-old definitely started me down the path of academia, and internally reinforced the value of my own voice, even though I’m certain my friends and family would say that was never a problem.

“My hopes for the world are that the air won’t be filled with pollution and that the world won’t be buried in garbage. I also wish that the people who make drugs would be arrested and that smoking will be illegal or all ages; young and old.”

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Unscripted Programming Executive Robyn Lattaker-Johnson to headline the Newhouse School’s 14th Annual Conversation on Race and Entertainment Media

Unscripted Programming Executive Robyn Lattaker-Johnson will come to Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications as a guest of the school’s 14th Annual Conversation on Race and Entertainment Media, hosted by COM Assistant Professor Charisse L’Pree. The conversation will take place on Wednesday Feb 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse 3.

Lattaker-Johnson has over 20 years of experience in entertainment spanning programming, development, current and physical production. A television development executive for the past 15 years, Robyn’s focus has been unscripted content. As Vice President of Unscripted Programming at the Syfy network, an NBC Universal Comcast company, she oversaw the day-to-day creative and production aspects of top reality series such as Face Off, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge, Ghost Hunters, Wizard Wars and Paranormal Witness, among others.

Prior to joining Syfy, Lattaker-Johnson was an independent producer developing nonfiction content and digital properties. She was the show runner of BET’s Comic View: One Mic Stand hosted by Kevin Hart. While Senior Vice President of Original Programming at BET Networks she spearheaded the network’s most successful and acclaimed original series including Baldwin Hills, American Gangster, Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is, Hell Date, Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, Season of the Tiger, Ballers, Take the Cake and Sunday Best, a franchise still airing on the network.

Lattaker-Johnson has an MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Film Directing, and graduated cum laude from the University of Washington with a BA in Communications, Broadcast Journalism.

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