Since I admitted a while back that it’s been a good 15 years since I’ve read Seventeen magazine, I thought I’d see just what kind of technology, in the form of computers and cellphones, appears on its pages. All the while realizing this is a fashion magazine for teenagers, not a techno mag. [Conveniently, Keeley purchased a copy of the April issue while visiting this week.]

To begin: In the letter from the editor, fashion bloggers are mentioned. Specifically this one.  [p16]

Next we have an advertisement for the Seventeen fashion finder iPhone app. “It’s the fun way to shop with Seventeen!” Also on this page, the TeenPROM app “for inspiration and ideas for the best prom ever.” [p53]

This one is a stretch, but I’ll mention it. Journeys’ shoe store has a bit that says “Friend us| Follow us| Watch us| [then icons for] Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.” [p62-3]

A bit more promising was the New York Film Academy Film school ad, althought the image was of a boy with a video camera. [p67]

Again, a stretch, but a CoverGirl ad had a contest-type thing where you can text a certain number for a free compact mirror. So, there we at least acknowledge girls use technology. [p69]

The feature “17 Fun Ways to Go Green” showcased techno related items for tips #2, 7, and 16. #2 “Upgrade your iPod! Instead of throwing out your old iPod when you’re ready for a new one, recycle it at the Apple store. The company can reuse up 90 percent of its parts, which keep dangerous  metals out of landfills and toxic chemicals out of the air.” A little inset to the side says, “Save cash! Get 10% off on any new iPod just for bringing in your old one!”

#7 “Surf smarter. Make your laptop as green as possible. This energy-efficient mini notebook’s shell is made partially from recycled CDs, its packaging is recycled from plastic bottles, adn he manuals are printed on recycled paper!” And the accompanying inset, “Win It! One lucky reader will win this cute energy-saving laptop.”

#16 Good Guide iPhone app that enables you to scan an item’s barcode and discover the its environmental pros and cons. Available for iPhone and iPodTouch.

Another iPhone app for mark, the Avon off-shoot for hip teenage girls. [p129] 

A story about interning for Tyra Banks has a “helpful” tricks of the trade inset with this bit of sage advice: “Don’t act your age. Always act maturely and professionally, even if you think no one is watching – don’t yap on the phone or text in the bathroom. You’ll be trusted with more work and more opportunities.” Beside it is a picture of a cellphone with a cross through it. [p132]

A story about providing aid to Haiti features a picture of a Blackberry with the info on texting to donate funds. [p132]

A photo shoot spread had one photo of a girl with big, chunky, yellow headphones around her neck. [p143]

The film school ad was basically the only image of a person engaged with technology. I definitely expected girls to be pictured with cellphones and laptops. But, no. And the one article, 17 Fun Ways to be Green, that had potential to really discuss the techno items was essentially advertising. Well, the entire mag was just one big advertisement as I suppose most are these days.

So, what did we learn from this? Aside from iPhone apps, technology doesn’t have a place in a fashionable girl’s life according to Seventeen magazine. And consume as much as possible. Recycle your old stuff and buy new things. Yes, yes, I know this was just one issue of the magazine, but I’m not proposing to publish my results in a journal, so I feel okay with extrapolating.

I think I will try this little investigation on a few other mags. So, stay tuned.

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