Visuality Resources

Hey there. Looking for where we got all our interesting research from? You’ve come to the right place! Our sources are listed below.

Rose, Jessica et. Al. 2012. Face it: The Impact of Gender on Social Media Images. Communication Quarterly 60(5):588-607.

This article looks into gender and how it is linked to social media websites that allow its users to post self-created digital images. Traits more prominent with males include active, dominant, and independent. Traits more prominent with females include attractive and dependent. 

Serafinelli, Elisa. 2017. “Analysis of Photo Sharing and Visual Social Relationships: Instagram as a Case Study.” Photographies 10(1):91–111.

This source analyzes how visuality, specifically through the social media platform of Instagram, alters individuals’ mediated lives and how Instagram changes individuals’ viewpoints of their interpersonal relationships. The photo sharing behavior of 44 participants was critically examined following their interviews. This article discusses that the increased use of social media reveals how sociality is impacted and facilitated by technology. 

Silva, Clarissa. 2017. “Social Media’s Impact On Self-Esteem.” The Huffington Post.

This article questions what causes social media to be linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills. The article discuses the paradox effect that is being created by social media. Additionally, it discusses self-esteem and “vanity validation”. 

Thelwall, Mike et al. 2015. “Chattingthrough Pictures? A Classification of Images Tweeted in One Week in the UK and USA.” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 67(11):2575–86.

This article examines the types of images that are shared throughout twitter. Most images were found to be photographs. However, a minority of images were screenshots, collages, captioned pictures, and pictures of text messages.

Valkenburg, Patti M., Jochen Peter, and Alexander P. Schouten. 2006. “Friend Networking Sites and Their Relationship to Adolescents Well-Being and Social Self-Esteem.” CyberPsychology & Behavior9(5):584–90.

This source examines the consequences of social media sites on self-esteem and well-being. 881 adolescents with an online profile were surveyed. It is argued that the use of social media influenced the number of relationships formed. Positive and negative feedback on what was posted on an individual’s profile was found to influence an individual’s self-esteem. 

Atran, S. (2005). The Trouble with Memes. In Gods We Trust, 236-262. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195178036.003.0009

Atran argues in their study against many claims that Dawkins’ analogy between memes and genes is 1:1. Atran instead argues that, unlike in biology and evolution, when it comes to culture and thought “high-fidelity transmission of cultural information is the exception, not the rule.” And that memes are much more random than genetic mutations as we as humans are constantly taking in, interpreting, and exchanging different memes that are constantly continuing the cycle.

Burman, J. T. (2012). The misunderstanding of memes: Biography of an unscientific object, 1976–1999. Perspectives on Science,20(1), 75-104. doi:10.1162/posc_a_00057

Burman argues that Dawkins’ original meaning and intent of the word ‘meme’ is irrelevant as the use of it as a word changes, and as the modes in which we consume media and spread ‘meme’s, both as a shorthand for ideas and as a metaphor for the spreading of information, increases. Burman argues that as memes are a social phenomenon, they are open to the changes in our language and usage.

Feldman, B. (2016, August 10). The Next Frontier in Internet Culture Is Wholesome Memes About Love and Support. Retrieved from

Feldman, in their article, highlights and explores a recent trend in online viral memes, a turn away from the usual absurdity and satire to what has been dubbed ‘wholesome memes’. ‘Wholesome memes’ unlike contemporary internet memes, are a celebration of the shared understanding between members of the ‘memescape’, reusing and conjuring up imagery associated with their contemporary counterparts, but replacing the jokes with blanket statements of affection.

(2018, July 31). Rage Comics [Video blog post]. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from

A short video analysis on a specific meme format that has since fallen out of style in the online realm, in which the vlogger discusses some of the reasoning, motivation, and appeal behind meme creation and circulation. Dawkin, R. (2006). The selfish gene.

Oxford: Oxford University Press. A free to access PDF of Richard Dawkins’ famous publishing ‘The Selfish Gene’ in which proper meme theory is notably first postulated.

Boudana, Sandrine, Akiba A. Cohen, and Paul Frosh. 2017. “Reviving Icons to Death: When Historic Photographs Become Digital Memes.” Media, Culture & Society 39(8):1210–30.

Memes can change the meaning and target audience of a photo because of how appropriated it is. Memes also have the power of changing something that is serious into something amusing or sardonic, depending on if the person appropriating it is “politically oriented” or “pop-culture oriented”. Photos have the potential of losing their significance because people continuously share and change them without considering its real meaning.

Garsd, Jasmine. 2015. “Internet Memes And ‘The Right To Be Forgotten’.” NPR.

Some embrace becoming a meme because of the benefits they gain from it. It is also a way for those who want to be entertainers to become known. However, others do not like the idea of being a meme. Europe and Argentina have created “the right to be forgotten”, which gives individuals the right to ask search engines to deindex pages.

Ferrara, Emilio, Alessandro Flammini, Mohsen Jafari Asbagh, and Filippo Menczer. 2014. “Clustering Memes in Social Media Streams.” Social Network Analysis and Mining 4(1):1-13.

People are always sharing memes within topics that are accepted within their online social circle, creating a cluster. If people share things that their social media community doesn’t agree with, then they have a chance of being rejected.

Guadagno, Rosanna, Shannon Murphy, Bradley Okdie, and Dan Rempala. 2013. “What Makes a Video Go Viral? Social Influence Processes in the Transmission of Internet Memes.” Computers in Human Behavior 29(6):2312–19.

Individuals were more likely to share a video that made them angry if the source was not someone within their social group. In addition, people use memes to gain social validation by sharing memes they know their online community would accept.

Roose, Kevin. 2017. “Political Donors Put Their Money Where the Memes Are.” The New York Times. Shifman, Limor. 2014. “The Cultural Logic of Photo-Based Meme Genres.” Journal of Visual Culture 13(3):340–58.

Through social media, individuals make groups that allow them to share their political beliefs through links, photos with captions and short videos. They use this as a tactic to create change within the minds of their audience and the world around them. The media is a way to share political ideas with a large audience without spending a lot of money. Memes have the power to influence the way people view politicians, which may ultimately change their perception of them

Shifman, Limor. 2014. “The Cultural Logic of Photo-Based Meme Genres.” Journal of Visual Culture 13(3):340–58.

Stock photos support stereotypical ideas in a subtle way while memes clearly display stereotypes. People engaging with memes are expected to create new ones. Individuals who share memes follow specific rules such as putting a caption that goes with the image.

Thompson, Julia. 2016. “Internet Infamous: How Memes Affect Teens.” Family Online Safety Institute.

Memes may have a negative effect on individuals that become meme famous because of how differently they may start to get treated. People do not think about the real meanings of a photo and do not take into consideration the context.

Cunningham, Stuart and David Craig. 2017. “Being ‘Really Real’ on YouTube: Authenticity, Community and Brand Culture in Social Media Entertainment.” Media International Australia164(1):71–81.

An analysis of the differences between typical mainstream media content and the more seemingly authentic style of media found on YouTube.

Davis, Victoria Filomena. 2016. “Trusting the Guru: Studying the Effects of Online Beauty Guru Reviews on Consumer Opinion Forming and Purchase Intent of Cosmetics.” thesis.

This thesis focuses on how online consumers are affected by reviews conducted by YouTube beauty influencers.

DeFranco, Philip. 2017. Dear Youtube…We Need To Talk. This Is Stupid and Ridiculous. Retrieved September 18, 2018. (

Philip DeFranco is a YouTuber who made this video to call out YouTube for their hypocritical enforcement of demonetizing videos that are about mass tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting.  

Green, Hank. 2017. The Apocalypse: What it Means. Retrieved September 18, 2018. (

Hank Green is a YouTuber who made this video to explain to his audience how YouTubers make money through advertising and how the phenomenon that has been dubbed the ‘adpocalypse’ is adversely affecting what little money people make off of YouTube ad money alone.  

Kim, Jin. 2012. “The Institutionalization of YouTube: From User-Generated Content to Professionally Generated Content.” Media, Culture & Society34(1):53–67.

This paper discusses how YouTube evolved from what is called user-generated content to more professionally generated content.  

Stanford, Stephen. 2018. “YouTube and the Adpocalypse: How Have The New YouTube Advertising Friendly Guidelines Shaped Creator Participation and Audience Engagement?” thesis.

This thesis focuses on the events that transpired around YouTube’s apocalypse and its after effects.  

Fardouly, Jasmine, Natasha R. Magson, Carly J. Johnco, Ella L. Oar and Ronald M. Rapee. 2018. “Parental Control of the Time Preadolescents Spend on Social Media: Links with Preadolescents’ Social Media Appearance Comparisons and Mental Health.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 47(7):1456-1468

This article also talks about the issues involving teenage body image in relation to their consumption of social media images. The researcher found that time spent using social media is correlated to their mental health, and the more time spent browsing images, the more the teens displayed dissatisfaction with self-perception and showed depressive symptoms.

Serafinelli, Elisa. 2017. “Analysis of Photo Sharing and Visual Social Relationships: Instagram as a Case Study.” Photographies 10(1):91–111.

This source examined the effect of Instagram on life experiences. Serafinelli argues that the use of mobile devices and specifically social media transforms the way people interpret images. Sociality is affected by new developments in technologies, in some ways relating to “the medium is the message”.

Andsager, Julie L. 2014. “Research Directions in Social Media and Body Image.” Sex Roles 71(11-12):407-413

This article proposes the conflict of social media and body image perceptions. Media literacy training has introduced people to being more skeptical about the messages of the images they see and more critical about how they perceive themselves.

Perloff, Richard M. 2014. “Social Media Effects on Young Women’s Body Image Concerns: Theoretical Perspectives and an Agenda for Research.” Sex Roles 71(11-12):363-377

This article discusses the negative affects Instagram has on body image, specifically in young women. Young women tend to be the most vulnerable to what other people think, but the use of social media heightens this because of the way edits can be misleading and the amount of likes people get affects their self-esteem.

Thelwall, Mike et al. 2015. “Chatting through Pictures? A Classification of Images Tweeted in One Week in the UK and USA.” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology67(11):2575–86.

This article discusses the role images have on sending a message. This study including testing people’s emotional reactions to messages when they were associated with an image or just plain text.

Below is a Tedx Talk discussing how social media affects people mentally. Social media platforms tend to alter its users’ behaviors as well changing the way they view their own lives.