About Chelsea Grogan

SMU junior majoring in English and Communications, obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s. My vices include vanilla lattes and Sweedish Fish. I call VBVA home.

Three Down, One to Go

As junior year draws to a close, I reflect on my past three years at SMU and look forward to one more

Where has the time gone?!  Really – I have no idea.  I feel like it was just yesterday I arrived in Texas, ready to start my new life as a college student, and then BAM!  I blinked and now I’m suddenly twenty-one and about to spend the summer interning in NYC before starting my senior year of college.  It’s bittersweet — I’m simultaneously ready to go into the world and start ‘real life,’ but not yet ready to prepare for a year of ‘lasts.’  I guess it’s so hard to think about leaving after next year because I’ve so loved the time I’ve spent here.  I’ve made amazing friends and memories, and have started to figure out what I want in life — started being the key word.

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Actor B.J. Novak Says Social Media Makes Better Writers

Though critics accuse social media of hurting formal writing, actor and writer B.J. Novak claims social media makes better writers

As social media channels continue to grow in popularity, critics worry about the negative impact such technologies will have on formal, written communication. Believing these communications promote “penmanship for illiterates,” critics assert informal communication technologies will lead to the decline of written language, claiming “the English language has now become foreign” as social media prompts students to “forget the importance of proper grammar usage.”  This pastheadshot of actor and writer BJ Novak week, however, writer and comedian B.J. Novak took on the critics, saying, “I think there’s a chance we’ll have a better generation of writers than we’ve ever had because of the social media age.”

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James Franco Says “Social Media is Tricky”

In light of his recent Instagram scandal, James Franco admits to the challenges of social media usage  James Franco in a black suit and tie, chest up

“I’m embarrassed, and I uh, I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky.”  These words were spoken by James Franco this morning on LIVE with Kelly and Michael in response to Franco’s most recent scandal.  The celebrity came  under fire this past week after a 17-year-old girl alleged that he used Instagram to try to arrange a hotel hook-up.

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Turkey to Open First Apple Store

Despite its stringent social media regulations, Turkey is opening its first Apple store 

Apple announced Friday that it will be opening the first Apple store in Istanbul, Turkey on April 5.  The Zorlu Center mall will house the company’s first foray into Turkey, which Apple CEO, Tim Cook, explains “will be unique in all respects, with a store concept that will be the first of its kind in the entire world.”

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Hemingway App Helps Create Clear, Succinct Writing

Hemingway App helps writers clean clutter from their work

American novelist Ernst Hemingway revolutionized writing with his “blunt, descriptive, concise prose.”  Today, however, clear and bold writing is hard to come by, replaced instead with verbose, over-saturated writing.  Brothers Adam and Ben Long recognized society’s departure from clear, succinct prose, and decided to create a free web app to help writers simplify their work.  Launched in late 2013, the Hemingway App allows users to enter a body of text into its processor and then analyzes the text, highlighting areas that can be simplified.

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The Ethics of Death on YouTube

A diver’s death captured on camera has more than 8 million views on YouTube Blue Hole

Earlier this week, Slate published an article entitled, “Diver’s Cemetery: The Blue Hole of Dahab.”  The article details the story of Yuri Lipski, a Russian diver who lost his life in Egypt’s infamously dangerous “Blue Hole” sinkhole in April 2000.  When Lipski’s body was retrieved, it was discovered that a helmet camera he was wearing during the dive captured his last minutes.  And thanks to YouTube, this footage has been viewed over 8 million times around the world.

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You Can’t Buy Your Friends – Or Can You?

Companies can buy likes, views, and followers to look more successful on social media 

As social media users, we know the familiar thrill of gaining new Twitter followers, or watching the number of views on our YouTube videos skyrocket. For companies, though, gaining new followers and reaching a broad audience is not just about the thrill — it is pivotal to success.  As blogger Daniel Sharkov explains, “No matter how much you engage with others or how quality your tweets are, getting results with only 200 followers can hardly happen.”

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Valentine’s Day with MasterCard is #Priceless

MasterCard uses sky-writing to promote its social media campaign "I love you" written across the sky

As part of its Priceless Surprises campaign, MasterCard is giving 12 lucky cardholders the opportunity to write their love messages across the sky this Valentine’s Day.  Cardholders simply must use the hashtag #PricelessSurprises when posting to Twitter.  MasterCard will then randomly select cardholders in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego to receive a free sky-writing experience.

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NBC Thinks Bigger is Better

Digital allows NBC to up coverage of Sochi Olympics  NBC logo over Olympic rings

The 2012 London Summer Olympics proved to be a rough time for NBC.  Following the delayed broadcasting of the opening ceremonies and many anticipated events, the network found itself the subject of Twitter’s trending #FailNBC.  This go-round, however, NBC promises not to disappoint.  Its solution?  Digital coverage – and lots of it.

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The Ethics of Photoshop

When does digital retouching cross a line?

Americans are all too familiar with the effects of Photoshop.  Standing in line at the checkout counter, consumers are bombarded with magazine covers featuring beautiful, digitally enhanced celebrities.  Yet, Americans both accept and perpetuate this tradition of retouching.  In fact, should a cover model not display a perfectly chiseled body, a scandal erupts.  However, accepting as consumers are of photoshopped images in the celebrity world, they reject the retouching of photographs shared by news organizations.  Actually, the retouching of images in this setting is considered unethical, as reality is neither truthfully nor accurately depicted.  Recently, AP freelance photographer Narciso Contreras ignored this ethical standard, and as a result, is now facing serious consequences.

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