Analysis of reddit

Kyle Ladner

Science & Technology Midterm Paper



Reddit as a medium covers the criteria for being a news source, blog site, educational resource, forum and archive of life.  Reddit has pioneered their diverse online platform to cater to the plethora of communities and users needs and desire for online communities and content.  Through its diverse communities and user participation, reddit has become a site portraying different technological mediums.

The front page of the internet, reddits slogan, describes the functionality of reddit being the news source for everything happening on the internet.  The site was designed to be a hub for as much content as possible across the web.  It has succeeded at this due to user participation in providing content and the number of users it has amassed since its 2005 launch.  Users select the articles and materials that make it to the front page, the first page you see when you go to  Users have the power on reddit because they post the stories they want and links they find entertaining or insightful to add to the reddit communities discussion.  Reddit’s layout and features, upvotes and downvotes, let the users determine what content will be displayed on the site.  The front page is a great example of how influential users are to reddit and how much power they are given through the site.  As opposed to the traditional news site where the stories they display are determined by editors, reddit gives a place for communities of people to share like ideas as they perceive them.  The traditional model is flawed because it is not a reflection of the true views of the people but with an added slant from bias or a political agenda, which get pushed onto us, and influence our perception of events.  By depending on user provided content reddit gives a more accurate view of current events by allowing the users to provide their thoughts and have many different opinions and communities to share with, giving many different aspects and opinions in comments available to the consumer of news.

As a medium of information and news, reddit succeeds because of the user.   User provided content consists of both, user submitted news and users submitting local, national and international news sources to reddit.  This, accompanied by the feedback users provide, gives users the opportunity to see many different takes on current happenings and see the reaction from users.  This is versatile because instead of the standard internet news article and the comment section below the actual story, user feedback becomes a story of itself.  Reddit itself doesn’t post actual stories and events but users share links to news sites the stories are written for and provides an environment for discussion and sharing of ideas to the world.

Reddit diversifies itself by also providing an information medium for education through the AMA and reddit ask sub-reddits.  The AMA, ask me anything, provides user with the medium to have experiences not before possible.  Users were afforded the opportunity to ask questions to real,  certified, experts in their fields, providing a place of knowledge.  The sub-reddit is what allows reddit to be an organized archive of life and medium with so much information.  Sub-reddits are communities within reddit that focus on one topics information, happenings and hosting discussions on the topic.  For example, the /r/AskScience Vaccine Megathread, gives the most medically correct information surrounding vaccines.  The sub-reddit is regulated by a group of pre-qualified panelists and each comment is fact checked  to filter only the most precise information.   The AMA has featured  scientists, experts in their field like, nuclear fusion scientists(1), as well as the likes of celebrity comedian, Chris Rock(2),  giving users the opportunity to connect with these great minds and icons they could not have had otherwise.  In addition to being, well cool, these encounters led to the ease of access to reliable knowledge, making reddit also be a great educational resource for people to use.  The educational resource aspect of Reddit provides another dimension to the blog format by providing specific subreddits that provide reliable and accurate information to viewers.  Having access to such information so accessible allows the promotion of education to users and society.

Reddit acts as an archive of life through the archive of the users life and an archive of the world at the time.  Reddit is a digital archive of the user because, like other social media sites a user has their own profile, which displays the posts and comments you have made and the threads you have upvoted and subreddits you follow.  Reddit is a reflection of the users interests on many different topics at one time and captures these moments as an archive of them during their time using the site.  Reddit captures the users life better as an archive because it reflects the political issues you’re reading, the subreddits you’re interested in and the progression of ones and societies views throughout time.  This is unique and different to news or social media sites because news sites don’t keep track of the articles you personally view, or at least don’t let you know this information.  An example of an archive that comes to my mind is a thread post from january 20th of this year by a guy live blogging the events of his wife cheating on him, leading to a divorce for the reddit community to tune into to over four days(3).  This story is a great example of how reddit can be used as an archive of life, unfortunately for this man but great material for the rest of us, by giving the platform and means to preserve this moment in history.  The next reason why I like the example above is because it drives home the community aspect of reddit by the different ways this story was perceived.  Some saw it as a hoax, others as comedy but either way it was portrayed or interpreted a community popped up around this one mans story to give sympathy, advice and poke fun at his woes.  This blog captivated such attention that reddit credited its servers crashing to the traffic generated on the first day of posting.  From the example above I conclude that reddit is an entertainment source as well as a type of social media site, allowing users to follow and create archives of lives and discuss them through sub-reddits.

In addition to being a digital archive on a personal level, reddit acts as a time capsule of society throughout time.  Through having such a large user base, 174 million posts per month on average(4), allows us to model society through this database.  Sub-reddits provide the best analysis of specific views and progression of events happening in the communities.  Reddit having 9000 sub-reddits  is large enough as well to have a model of americas reaction to an event through user discussions, posts and viewed articles throughout time.

As a social media site/blog I prefer reddit to others because it has more of a stripped down feel than a typical social media site.  There is no designated page with all of your information and life displayed, replacing these typical definitions of a person and reflecting the person through articles the user has posted or read and opinions they have left through comments on posts.  Reddit represents the users interests at different periods of time, as well as a reflection of your opinions on topics and happenings throughout your time on reddit.  Along with the striped down layout, the aspect of animitity, people don’t see a picture of me, see my details or what layout I chose for my profile, just my opinions and articles and news I find stimulating.  Of course if I chose to do so I can always post links to my other accounts such as imgur with pictures and such if I chose to do so but I like the creation of a community of anonymous people.

Relating reddits user based model to Plato’s theory of governing society, “governing a society is like sailing a ship, ship can’t be run democratically, but by a captain and his crew”(5).  Although reddit is not running a government in the aspect of the internet, where so much we see on the news has a political undertone or slanted take on how to write about events, reddit is controlled by the people, going against Plato’s theory, making the front page of the internet a democracy.

Reddit is a diverse technological medium that has many different messages to offer to a multitude of cultures by providing a platform to be a news source, blog site, educational resource, forum and archive of life.  Through its diverse functionality and user participation, reddit has become a one stop shop for everything one does on the internet.  Reddit relates to our class by being a technological medium containing a plethora of information, as well as an archive of life by promoting users content and preserving their preferred topics over time.


(2) 2015

(3 2015

(4) 2014

(5) The Whale and The Reactor. Artifacts Politics. Pg. 31. 

Fabrications of the Mind

The media is society’s main source of entertainment these days, ranging from current news and radio shows to romance dramas and superhero movies. The average student spends countless hours on Netflix and Hulu. The goal of a producer is to make a profit off of their ideas and to do that they must capture the audience’s attention. What are the current social matters? What interests the younger generation? What does society really want?  Although television shows and movies are supposed to be a depiction of “real life,” they have had more of an influence on society instead of serving the purposes of plain entertainment.

At first, while reading a book, often times a reader will imagine scenes and create images of the characters, creating a sort of mental movie. Technology has made this easier by physically creating movies that audiences can see. Readers will also place themselves in the story to the point where they have created an emotional attachment to the book itself.

As humans, the mind is always looking to improve itself based on more successful people or role models: people who have overcome a personal difficulty or have reached that distant success, even if that person is a complete fabrication of someone else’s mind.  The most influential point in life is childhood; children see and children do. A child looks up to their parent for guidance on how to eat, talk, interact, and all the basics of life in general. Kids grow up watching Saturday morning cartoons and, of course, awesome animated stories about the endeavors of superheroes. Through these, children normally relate their first few experiences of emotional sadness, excitement, and awe-struck wonder.

Disney is the largest animated entertainment company whose primary audience is children. Thanks to Disney, young girls have a false sense of love and boys have the desire to be brave and powerful. All of the original Disney princesses fell in love at first sight, causing young girls to have a fantastical view of love. What girl would not want to be beautiful and have a handsome prince sweep her off her feet and take her to live in his majestic castle? The kind of love depicted is mainly infatuation by physical appearance; in Snow White, the prince did not speak a word to her before falling in love with her and taking her to his castle. Many girls will grow out of the thought as they mature and understand that life isn’t a fairytale, but some girls will not. Jennifer Hardstein wrote an article about “Princess Syndrome,” in which she believes that these unrealistic ideals can affect later self-esteem. Hardstein argues that children grow up with the wrong values and that, because of Disney, young girls grow up believing their worth is in their appearance and material possessions (5).

Alex Kristelis wrote an article that even Disney had an effect on young boys by creating a repetitive pattern in what “men” are “supposed” to do; for example, the guy always has to rescue the girl or the good guy is always handsome and strong (5). Movies like The Lion King, Hercules, and Toy Story feature a brave main character who overcomes ridiculous hardships and eventually comes to the rescue. They become role models for children and, yes, it is possible that they learn and become better people by that. However, it is also possible that they will grow up thinking they are brave and invincible and not understand that struggles in real life as they grow up are very different and true love is not simply handed to them. Even though older Disney movies are classics and well loved by many, there should be a distinction from the fictional world and the real world and perhaps realistic life lessons instead of a silly fantasy.

After getting through the fairytale and knight in shining armour phase of life, youth culture should be about making friends and enjoying relationships while you are young. Too bad it has mainly become about parties and sex. Gossip Girl is essentially about the struggle for popularity, all of the conflicts between two friends, who had sex with whom. Asking someone who had seen all six seasons, Tara Schwinger said, “What makes me most upset about Gossip Girl is how dumb every single situation is; honestly, the show is just very unrealistic. It gives kids unrealistic expectations of what their parents are going to allow them to do. No parent is going to let her 16 year old daughter go to a Greece alone with some random people that she doesn’t know (4).” Schwinger, being from New York City, even said that the majority of schools there are not even close to what is depicted in Gossip Girl, with the exception of some of the private schools.

Most all girls have at least heard of gossip girl and it’s ridiculously over dramatized situations. Lesley Blume wrote an article about how Gossip Girl is killing youth culture, naming the article “15 going on 50” because this 15 year old seems to be doing things out of her age and maturity range (1). Blair Waldorf is in junior high and her life is consumed by drugs, sex, and backstabbing friends. In reality, junior high was remembered for braces, awkward first kisses, and awkwardly trying to make friends. Even in college, where an alcohol and sex culture is very prominent, there is not that much drama. Gossip Girl was supposed to be an example of modern life when it could probably depict the life of Khloe Kardashian instead of the average adolescent. No person could possibly be so mature as to be calmly composed and directly talk to their significant other who had cheated on them without screaming, crying, and maybe throwing the nearby book. Situations like these are influential and affect how real relationships are handled because events like this do exist and they typically involve sensitive girls being over dramatic and overthinking everything. Blume, in her article, wrote, “[…] Gossip Girl seems to tell us that there’s nothing to look forward to, and there will be nothing to look back upon … except more of the same. We’re not just destined to become brittle materialistic adults; we already are brittle materialistic adults (1).” This unrealistic ideal of life growing up should not take us straight into adulthood or tell us that life is about materialistic gains and popularity or attention from the opposite gender. Girls should not spend their youth fantasizing about cute boys and sex. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that every young woman spends her youth looking forward to her first kiss, and the rest of her life looking back upon it (1).

Recently the show Breaking Bad had become extremely popular amongst young adults, mainly college students and early graduates. Breaking Bad is about Walter White’s financial struggle to support his family and pay for cancer treatment. He has all the right morals but he turns to an extremely illegal business to make the money to do so. White starts his own methamphetamine lab and begins to distribute the substance. This action gets him the money he needs but eventually leads him into a very long hard struggle with the wrong people.

The use of methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is illegal worldwide. Along with the influence of shows like Disney and Gossip Girl, this one is a bit more morbid. Breaking Bad has introduced the concept of meth to those who had not known much about it and it makes it less of a taboo in conversations (2). Although Breaking Bad does not directly influence uses of meth and other drugs, it does open society’s eyes to how drug cartels and illegal businesses function. The show depicts to what extent people will go for money and there is no doubt that it would give the desperate person some ideas. A regular side job that pays minimum wage is insufficient for a college that costs more than $20,000 a semester. Some college kids are known to go into the pornography or prostitution business to pay for tuition and maybe even marijuana or other drugs. White’s choice to manufacture meth to make money for a good reason is admirable but that just gives people the idea to unknowingly do dangerous things instead of working hard in a real job. This type of behavior, even though it is not actively glorified, should not be something that a viewer should be spending hours upon hours watching and unintentionally learning from.

The mind is highly influenced and there are constant everyday struggles with peer pressure, stereotypes and expectations. These struggles are dealt with by everyone, from the time we are born to the day we die. The problem is that the influence still works when there are fictional people with fictional lives. The media is a great archive in that it preserves our lifestyle and show technological advancement, but its main purpose was to entertain, not to influence. Media, in the words of McLuhen, counts as an extension of our minds; but the more it influences society, the more it changes to become an extension of our actions.

Word Count: 1527




Works Cited

Blume, Leslie. “Huffington Post.” 15 Going On 50: How Gossip Girl is Killing Youth Culture.

Huffington Post, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Ewing, Blake. “Breaking Bad Normalizes Meth, Argues Prosecutor.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 28

Kristelis, Alex. “7 Problematic Lessons Disney Movies Teach Boys About Masculinity.” Bustle.

Bustle, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Feb. 2015.

Schwinger, Tara

Wellman, Victoria. “Are our girls suffering from ‘Princess Syndrome’? Disney heroines teach

us  to trade on our looks and value material things, claims new book.” Daily Mail.

Associated Newspapers, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Unique Medium of Information

Usman Khan

Mr. Josephson

Comparative Studies 2367

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Unique Medium of Information

            Magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI, is an essential medium used throughout health care that engages the senses and allows information to be transferred. Commonly used in hospitals to help identify a problem to better treat a patient, and to allow a better medium of information for physicians and even allowing the patient to understand what is going on. The MRI has been useful in and of itself progressing the advancement of medicine, and is a crucial machine used presently. By helping to view tissue at a unique microscopic level to better find a diagnosis, and leading to better treatment and prevention of a disease, it has allowed medicine advance far better than most medical machines.The MRI is a great medium to analyze due to it existing as a tangible material which engaging various senses and allows for unprecedented possibilities in the field of medicine.

As an essential medium used in medicine the MRI exists as a material object to encompass its functions. To understand the function and even the power of an MRI, it is necessary to understand how it works. A basic understanding would be that “It is a procedure used in hospitals to scan patients and determine the severity of certain injuries” (Kalapurayil). An MRI produces detailed scans of tissue in the body used to identify the severity of an injury and it does this through laying inside of an MRI on a push in table. The structure of the MRI is simple and its functions encompass its structure. Everything was built for a specific reason in allowing the MRI to work, with no excess. Primary components of the MRI consists of a large external magnet, coils, radio frequency equipment, and a computer used to generate a 3-D image. It has a long tube inside the machine with a large magnet in the middle of the machine. Then there is a comfortable table in the external portion of the MRI where a patient lies down The table gets pushed closer into the center of the MRI to begin the process that leads to the main function of the MRI. There are many wires in the machine itself, which are covered, and they are used to pass electrical currents generating a strong magnetic field. Then there is something known as a coil, which is placed on a body part to send and receive radio frequency waves. These waves can go through our skin and this allows the protons in our body to align themselves and the protons then absorb the RF waves. These protons tend to spin quickly because of the energy they received, thus emitting or releasing the energy waves to the coil and generating a 3-D image of the specific body part being scanned. It is a fairly simple design if one can understand engineering and physics, but to those not knowledgeable on the subject it can seem confusing, yet still can be comprehended with a basic understanding of science.

Besides the tangible materiality of the medium it also engages our senses in a variety of ways. When a person is being scanned in the MRI there are many continuous loud thumping noises. These noises are produced by magnets turning on and off continuously, and also by the noise of camera taking the pictures. Just as a camera makes a noise when taking a picture, the MRI makes an even louder noise when taking such a detailed image of your tissues. This noise can indubitably cause more anxiety and nervousness, so the MRI surely engages our auditory senses. Also when someone is needed to use an MRI for any sort of procedure, that said person is surely in a state of anxiety even before being in the MRI. Simply due to the fact of being aware that this is a unique procedure not meant for an everyday sort of check-up makes a person more nervous and scared, seeing as a typical visit to the hospital usually does not require someone to be laid down in a huge metal machine. Thus, the MRI engages the senses mentally as well, because it can be nerve wrecking for a person to even think about being in MRI for maybe thirty minutes to maybe even two hours depending on the severity of the case. Leading to the MRI being a medium not just for treating conditions, but also has a characteristic trait of engaging a variety of senses. A solution to the loud noises is using headphones allowing people to have the option to listen to music and to avoid this nerve wrecking noise. Although for many people having to know they will be in the magnetic resonance machine is nerve wrecking, it is still completely safe and people should not be too anxious or worried.

Being such a crucial medium of information the MRI needs to make things possible and these possibilities are crucial in helping physicians, treating patients with safety, and creating a better understanding for the patient when confused. The MRI helps make physicians life easier and allows them to see things that were likely impossible to see just a few decades ago. The image produced through the MRI allows physicians to see body organs and tissues in fine detail, and allowing the detection of abnormalities which otherwise could not be detected to help better treat patients. Opposed to a CT-Scan, which is just an upgraded x-Ray, a CT-Scan does not produce such fine detail of tissues, and X-Rays are more commonly used for bones so it is clear the MRI is the best option to visually see extreme detail of organs. Also in contrast to a CT-Scan, the MRI does not emit ionizing radiation. Avoiding radiation makes possible a safer procedure to better treat patients. A person who is going to have to use MRI is already a bit nervous as is, and if there were risk of radiation, you can imagine how frightening MRI would be. Fortunately, the MRI is safe and having no radiation makes possible of better treating the patient without the use of risk, and by not jeopardizing their future health and well-being due to radiation.

The MRI also makes possible a better patient understanding, as well as better physician-patient interaction. For a patient it is better to see a visual image rather than being bombarded with medical terminology that a patient might not understand. I believe Marshal McLuhan put it best when he stated, “In general we feel more secure when things are visible, when we can ‘see for ourselves.’”(McLuhan 117). This corresponds to the patient feeling more safe and secure seeing an image to better understand the situation. Especially in a hospital setting where most people are not educated enough to have the vast array of knowledge a doctor has, it then becomes pivotal to help lessen the confusion of a patient. MRI truly allows that lessening of confusion due to a visual image in front of the patient. For example, when learning a difficult concept it is quite often better to see a visual demonstration of the concept than just reading throughout a textbook. As McLuhan said, it is better when things are visible because it allows people too see with their own eyes to try to understand what is going on. A visual image or even any sort of visual mediums like videos, allow for better understanding than listening or reading. Also having the visual image, allows the doctor to better explain himself to the patient because now the patient has a much better understanding. This also allows the patient to feel more comfortable interacting with the doctor because they are both on the same page by looking at the image. Although the doctor will still need to explain some parts of the image, the patient will sill understand through the doctors information and supplementing that with the visual image in front of the patient. MRI indubitably makes possible of better patient understanding and a better physician-patient interaction through the generated 3-D image a doctor shares with the patient.

MRI is a great advancement in modern medicine due to finding problems otherwise not visible with the naked eye, however there are still economic and social issues revolving around MRI. A major economic problem would be affording MRI, which is greatly impacted by healthcare costs. Ezra Klein wrote an article entitled, “Why an MRI Costs $1080 in America and $280 in France”. In the article she mentions it largely has to do with the average a person spends on healthcare every year. “Americans spent $7,960 per person on healthcare”, and “The French, $3,978″(Klein). These are significant figures which impact the cost of MRI. Insurance companies charge more for a person living in the U.S. solely because the insurance companies pay so much more compared to insurance companies in France. Also these numbers are just averages, sometimes the cost of an MRI can be more than $4,000 depending on what body parts need to be scanned. These are significant numbers which impact the economics of MRI, thus influences society because it makes it difficult for the poor/middle-class to afford MRI. Societal implications would be the social inequality. The rich will have better access to MRI compared to someone who is poor and without any insurance. Even if you have insurance, some insurance companies might not pay for the full cost of MRI creating more issues. It is a consistent imbalance, because we have the harsh economics greatly influencing society which sheds a visible light on the social inequality involving MRI. I believe this is a huge problem because it simply is not fair for people to lose their lives simply on the cost of MRI. Also when new advancements are made in medicine it will even lead to more social inequality because the cost will always be so expensive. The MRI is a great advancement in medicine, however it is still influenced by economics which indubitably leads some people to lose their lives because of the expensive costs of a medical instrument that ironically was meant to help save lives.

MRI is an imperative machine used in the advancement of medicine, and although not seen as a conventional medium akin to a book or website, it still is a medium nonetheless. By allowing a transfer of information from the body to be analyzed, engaging the senses, creating new possibilities, it is indubitably a unique medium of information. MRI is simply unique medium to analyze due to fact it is a medium only used in the hospital. By being unique to the hospital it has been upgraded solely to treat patients in whatever way it can. Either through allowing fine-tuned images of organs, not emitting radiation, a better understanding for patients, and even a better physician-patient interaction, the MRI has become a pivotal medium of information used in hospitals. MRI has helped so many people in the world through its’ use of function, that without MRI it would surely be a loss to the world, and indubitably contravening to the advancement of new mediums in advancing medicine due to MRI being a stepping stone for what is to come.

 Work Cited

Kalapurayil, Mattew. “What Is MRI? How Does MRI Work?” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <;

McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967. Print.

“MRI:MedilinePlus. Medical Encyclopedia.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015 <>

Klein, Ezra. “Why an MRI Costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France.” Why an MRI Costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France. The Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.                                      <;.

Magazines as a Medium

Magazines have been around for centuries, and have evolved tremendously over the years. The first magazines were created to publish stories, fictional or nonfictional, and to spread news of certain events happening in that day in age. Today, there is a magazine for basically everything and everyone. There are magazines for teenagers, parents, and even grandparents and small children. There are also several different themes that magazines cover, such as fashion, food, home décor, and sports, to name a few. Magazines provide feelings for the many different age groups reading them, and readers are able to engage in these feelings by using their senses.

One of the first periodicals written and published was back in 1663 and was a German publication called Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen, which translates to “Edifying Monthly Discussions” (“Magazine” 2015). These “monthly magazines” were a way for readers to catch up with political events happening throughout the world, as well as news pertaining to literature and other events that were happening at the time. A few centuries later, in the 1900s, the magazine started to become more diverse and separated, and there was a special magazine for families, women, religions, and much more. These magazines for different types of people started to appeal to their sense of sight with the different colors and pictures that could easily catch a person’s attention, and they even appealed to their sense of smell in certain cases where the magazine provided a fragrance sample for the reader to test and decide if they liked.

Magazines can be connected to Marshall McLuhan’s book The Medium is the Massage in many ways. Throughout McLuhan’s book, he explains the several ways that people analyze different mediums, and he includes many of these mediums in his book. For example, on one page there will only be a picture and the reader is expected to make their own conclusions and opinions about the picture. However, on the next page, there may be an entire page covered with words, and the reader’s mind has to switch from analyzing a picture to analyzing and interpreting what the words on the page mean and decide whether or not the words have anything to do with the picture. Magazines are very similar because they are full of random pictures and articles. Usually, the picture does not have anything to do with the article on the next page or even the page before it. However, with the several different types of magazines out there today, the pictures and articles that the reader views usually correspond to the theme of the entire magazine. For example, a magazine that is all about fashion will have several pictures of models in also different types of clothing, and different articles that pertain to fashion, such as an interview with a designer or a fashion icon. The colors and designs portrayed throughout the magazine are there to make the reader even more interested in the content of the magazine.

Most magazines today, if not all, contain advertisements that pertain to the content of the magazine. This is a great way for marketers of new products to get the word out on these new products because the advertisements are randomly spread throughout the magazine, so if a person is reading it cover to cover, or even just flipping through, they will come across that ad and probably look at it, even if it is just briefly. Magazines for teenage girls often have tips for how to do their hair and makeup, and more often than not there is some type of hair product or makeup advertisement conveniently on the next page that claims it will make the girls hair or face as beautiful as they see it in the advertisement. This gives these girls a feeling of excitement as they go out and buy the new product and hope that their hair or makeup turns out just like the models’ in the magazine they saw. Magazines can generate many types of feelings within the reader. The reader can often become intimidated by the pictures and articles published in a magazine. An example would be a girl looking at a model who is very tall and skinny, and the girl reading the magazine may feel like she has to look the same way as that model in order to be accepted in society. The models in the magazines provide an abundance of pressure on women to look and dress a certain way, and often times this decreases the level of self-confidence a girl has for herself. On the other hand, magazines can provide a feeling of excitement, especially when a girl sees a style of clothing she really likes in a magazine, and wants to go shopping to find that same style. Magazines provide a rollercoaster of emotions, depending on the type of magazine, but many people enjoy reading them or browsing through them no matter what types of feelings come about for them.

There are thousands of different types of magazines in the United States alone for people of all ages and genders. Some of the most important magazines are those for teenagers because they provide entertainment, and especially advice and ideas that pertain to their age group alone. The very first teen magazine was Seventeen, which was first published back in 1944 (“Seventeen Magazine Throughout the Years!”). Seventeen is a magazine targeted at girls in their teens, especially those in high school. The magazine features tips on fashion, beauty, boys, friends, and real world issues, such as a young girl in an abusive relationship. Seventeen tries to help girls get through the most awkward and troubling times of their lives by using idolized celebrities and even sometimes real girls as role models. By incorporating stories and advice from some of the most idolized celebrities, teenage girls start to feel better about themselves and their situations because they are seeing someone very popular and well-respected go through the exact same situations. There are usually several pictures of these celebrities to show their sense of style and possibly give teenage girls some fashion advice and ideas to create their own style. Seventeen and other teenage magazines help teenage girls get through some of the toughest years of their lives, and the words and pictures throughout the magazine create feelings for the girls, whether those feelings are of excitement, anger, belonging, or understanding.

There are plenty of magazines for women and men in their twenties and older. For women, there are several magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue. These magazines feature women who are in their twenties or thirties and give women fashion advice, as well as advice on how to eat healthy and stay fit. Similarly to Seventeen, these magazines feature articles and advice for how to handle men and deal with problems they may be having with men. There is plenty of gossip on celebrities and style “dos and don’ts” that women are always interested in catching up on. The several pictures help women visually understand what types of clothing would be the best fit for them, and even makes the reader feel included when it comes to finding clothes for their different body types.

There are several different magazines for men to read as well, such as Sport’s Illustrated and Men’s Health. These magazines contain information for how to stay fit and how to dress at this stage in their lives as well. Also portrayed in these magazines are workouts and supplements men can take to achieve their desired bodies. There are several advertisements for these supplements, as well as pictures of very buff men, giving the reader an idea of what to look for in a supplement in order to look like the man in the picture. These magazines for both men and women contain several images that could make the reader feel very motivated to achieve their desired bodies, depressed because they do not look like the models in the magazine, and even excited and determined to put some of the material they learned to use in their lives.

Another target audience of magazines are for parents both expecting and with grown children. Some magazines that are usually associated with expecting mothers are Baby Talk and Fit Pregnancy. Baby Talk is sometimes known as the “bible for new mothers” because it gives mothers an idea of what is normal and what to expect during the first years with their babies. This magazine may also provide examples of how to decorate their newborn’s room and the must-haves for their babies. Fit Pregnancy is a magazine that explains which types of prenatal vitamins are essential to take to have a healthy baby. This magazine also gives examples of what expecting mothers should wear to be fashionable throughout their pregnancy, as well as how to stay fit and not gain an abundance of baby weight. There are several photos in each of these magazines to give mothers a visual of how they should look, ideas for their baby’s room, and much more.

Parents with children who are grown are more interested in other magazines, such as Good Housekeeping and Bon Appetit. The Good Housekeeping magazine gives their reader an idea of how to rearrange or modernize their homes through photos and descriptions of how a certain project is done in case the readers want to do it themselves. With not a lot of other stuff happening in their lives, readers often become interested in sprucing up their homes. Bon Appetit is a magazine for those people who have the time to try new recipes. This magazine has a picture of a very appetizing dish followed up with the recipe and instructions on how to make it. Readers of Good Housekeeping and Bon Appetit rely on the pictures portrayed in the magazines to decide whether or not they would like to remodel their homes or test out a new recipe. The readers may also become very excited to try something new, or sometimes even become depressed because they do not have the means to fix up their homes.

Finally, there are magazines for older people in their sixties and beyond, such as Grand. This magazine focuses on self-improvement and also contains different recipes and health tips. Grand helps older people keep their minds strong with all of its content. There are also workout ideas that directly relate to older people and are not too advanced for their age. Recipes are included in this magazine as well, which older people love because if they have extra time on their hands, many times they like to spend it in the kitchen. Grand appeals to their readers’ needs, and exemplifies these needs through photos and articles that leave the reader feeling fulfilled and anxious to try out their new findings, or upset if they may not be physically able to cook or exercise anymore.

Magazines as a medium appeal to many readers’ senses through photos and descriptions of topics they are most interested in. In the years to come, magazines are most likely going to slowly phase out as they lose their effect on people. Today, most articles published in magazines can be found on the internet, which is often more convenient than waiting for a copy of that magazine to come in the mail or having to go to the store and buy a copy. Magazines will not completely die out, they will most likely still be in waiting rooms or the people who actually enjoy the act of flipping through the magazines will still be purchasing them. The content of magazines will always have an effect on their readers in some way as they use their senses to analyze the content, whether it is a positive or a negative effect.

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Magazine Publishing.” Britannica. Encyclopedia

Brtiannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 8 March 2015.

“Seventeen Magazines Through the Years.” Seventeen. Hearst Communications, Inc., 2015.

Web. 8 March 2015.