Why Ellena Whitfield Became YouTube's 'EllenaWhat'

Why Ellena Whitfield Became YouTube's 'EllenaWhat'

A conversation with Ellena Whitfield on the future of YouTube, journalism, and social media.

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Ellena Whitfield, popularly known as "EllenaWhat" has taken advantage of the social media revolution with the success of her YouTube channel, which has a following of 65,000 subscribers.

YouTube has become the gateway to success for many young internet influencers as the site became second-most popular in the world as of August 2018.

Whitfield has applied her success online to her schooling at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. With an aspiration to become a Rolling Stone or Alternative Press journalist, Whitfield creates weekly music reviews to her channel.

"I think YouTube is relevant because of the culture our generation expresses. We grew up with the boom of social media and it's our modern-day entertainment on a more personal level. Our parents experienced the same thing through the boom of television. This is why we've started to idolize influencers like they are movie stars," Whitfield said.

HONEST REACTION TO "A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS" YouTube

Whitfield has met many other young and successful influencers during her time at ASU and the making of her channel. Her cousin, Kendall Rae, a YouTuber with 1 million subscribers inspired her to create her channel.

Whitfield expressed that she would love to become a full-time YouTuber, but there is always the fear that the platform will crash.

"One of the biggest YouTube influencers, Jeffree Star, was making money off of Myspace and then all of a sudden the platform, which seemed revolutionary at the time, crashed and he was forced to live on his friend's couches for a while," Whitfield said.

Even with the fear of YouTube ending, Whitfield said her YouTube channel has given her a platform and the experience she needs to succeed as a journalist. Whitfield said that YouTube not only helped her gain a social relevance, but it gave her experience on how to make relevant and timely content.

Ellena Whitfield Showing Me How She Films Her VideosLauren Hernandez

Human communication professor, Steven Corman emphasizes Whitfield's point on the importance of present-day journalists adopting the social revolution.

"Mainstream media and social media are part of a shared ecosystem. Mainstream media uses social media as a source of information, and social media plays an important role in distributing stories from mainstream media. Journalists need to embrace both if they want to be successful in creating stories and reaching larger audiences with those stories," Corman said.

The most unique aspect of journalism is that it is forever expanding. There are many new platforms and ways of sharing news such as YouTube that allows journalists to spread news faster than ever.

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Lexi Varrato, the social media director of ASU's AWSM club strives to evolve with journalism, especially when it comes to the club she helps run as it is one of the most important aspects of journalism to stay relevant.

"Having a social platform as a journalist is crucial because it helps you build your brand and create a presence in an era that is so technologically focused. Not only will you create your image, but it allows you to make connections that will help you further your career," Varrato said.

The rise of young influencers is very inspiring to Whitfield as she says it is realistic to make a career as an influencer. She said that YouTube can lead creators to many different careers such as creating a fashion line or becoming a journalist as she aspires.

Whitfield plans to keep her channel as long as YouTube exists because she loves every aspect of documenting her life and sharing it with her audience. Whitfield expressed that she cannot wait to see where YouTube is in a couple years and believes many college students should give YouTube a try.

"People that have millions of subscribers all started with zero. If you don't start now you're never going to know what could happen," Whitfield said.

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I'm Begging You, If You're Going To Watch One TV Show, Please Watch 'One Tree Hill'

"What's more important? What we become or how we become it?" I'm not totally sure, but I attribute both to One Tree Hill.

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Many people are shaped by something that happened to them. Perhaps they were shaped by their family, or the situation they grew up in. I can attest to many different situations and aspects of my life shaping me into the person I am today, however, I never thought I would say a TV show helped change my life and became part of what made me who I am today.

One Tree Hill, created by Mark Schwan, was a long-running series about two brothers who start out as rivals when the pauper-type brother joins the school's basketball team. Eventually, the brothers hash it out to become friends and this show follows them, and all of their friends, through their town of Tree Hill, North Carolina, while they endure heartbreak, loss, success, real-life problems, and ups & downs of all sorts.

A lot of people in the past have questioned my love for the show, saying my constant viewing and the fact that I have seen the lengthy nine-season show probably more than eleven times through is obsessive, however, I say it is therapeutic. Don't let the length of the series scare you, it is worth every minute.

At the end of season nine, which only has 13 episodes, you'll probably be sobbing that it's over and begging for more. The fact that the creative genius behind the scenes and the cast really created something special that made people want to watch for nine seasons is incredible. 2003-2012 was a magical time where One Tree Hill aired on TV and it was a time many of us wish we could get back.

I'm sure so many people would love to know why us "One Tree Hill" fans are just so connected to the show and the reason being is that the characters are the most relatable characters. They experience real-life events (with TV magic twists of course). One particular episode actually sticks out to me to this day.

Season four episode 13, "Pictures of You." This episode has the students come into class a few weeks shy of graduation when the teacher gives them an assignment: they can go anywhere they want throughout the school and take a picture of their partner (the teacher gave them digital cameras to use) that shows their true self. They had to pick their partners out of a classmate's hat and they all took incredible pictures of each other after a day of self reflection. Some of the pictures were definitely a little risqué for the modern high school, however, it gave us this iconic Brooke Davis moment that reminded us that "what's under the clothes" matters and that we shouldn't label people based on anything:



From this to school shooting awareness, conversations about losing a family member, strained/abusive familial relationships, narcotics and alcohol abuse, and having to grow up faster than a kid should, "One Tree Hill" hits all the marks on a relatable teen show. I fell in love with the show for this. I feel as if everyone should divulge into the greatness "One Tree Hill" has to offer because it is just so important to see the messages the series portrays. The show also has humor, action, romance, and so much more you just cannot ever get enough of. So, I highly recommend "One Tree Hill" as your next binge, rewatch, or just as your go-to, feel-good show.

"One Tree Hill" is no longer running on the CW Network and was taken off of Netflix (petition to put OTH back on Netflix anyone?), but thank goodness Hulu answered our prayers and added the spectacular series to their streaming service. I have to give my best friend, Meaghan, a shoutout for giving me her Hulu password the day "One Tree Hill" was added to Hulu.

So, if you've ever wanted to start "One Tree Hill," this is your sign. Get on Hulu, give it a go, and thank me later when you fall in love with Luke, Nathan, Brooke, Hayley, and Peyton.

And as always, Go Ravens!

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15 Underrated Instagram Girl Bosses That Keep It Real

Instagram is nothing more than a highlight reel.

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In today's society, most girls get on Instagram and scroll, while wishing they could "look like them" or "be as skinny as them," not realizing that Instagram is nothing more than a highlight reel, showing the best moments in someone's day or life. Over the past couple of years, I've sifted through all the Instagram bloggers and found the ones that aren't afraid keep it ~real~.

If you want some realness on your Instagram, follow these 15 girl bosses. You won't regret it.

1. Ashley TerKeurst Hodges

https://www.instagram.com/ashleyterk/

Instagram: @ashleyterk

I've been following Ashley for about a year now, and I've loved seeing her family grow. Ashley is passionate about her faith and family, and I love seeing her passion.

2. Karlie Rae Lang

https://www.instagram.com/karlierae/

Instagram: @karlierae

This new mama isn't afraid to show the real side of life and motherhood, along with the beautiful side as well.

3. Mattie Gresham

https://www.instagram.com/mattigresham/

Instagram: @mattigresham

I look forward to watching Matti's story every day because of the real-life stories she shares. I laugh for days when watching.

4. Madison Nelson

https://www.instagram.com/heymadinelson/

Instagram: @heymadinelson

This southern gal is one of my top favorites when it comes to keeping it real. She also has the cutest little growing family, which is a plus.

5. Bre Sheppard

https://www.instagram.com/bresheppard/

Instagram: @bresheppard

The beauty behind the movement #boycottboringnails, and the cutest little girl boss. Bre is one of the first bloggers I followed and I've been a loyal follower ever since.

6. Kathleen Post

https://www.instagram.com/kathleen.post/

Instagram: @kathleen.post

Kathleen is truly a ray of sunshine. She always has a smile on her face, and she brightens up my day every time I watch her stories.

7. Heather Brown

https://www.instagram.com/mylifewellloved/

Instagram: @mylifewellloved

Heather is an Alabama-native, so I may be a little biased, but she's the cutest little mama, and fitness instructor.

8. Emily

https://www.instagram.com/joyfulcrew/

Instagram: @joyfulcrew

I love watching Emily's stories because

1) She lives in japan, which is so cool and

2) Her stories are ALWAYS real.

She's not afraid to show the moments where she hides in a closet to get a break from her kids, and I admire that.

9. Annie Pearce

https://www.instagram.com/anniesforgetmeknots/

Instagram: @anniesforgetmeknots

I've followed Annie for several years now. I love watching her hair tutorials, her videos of her cute kids, and her super satisfying cleaning time-lapses.

10. Mary Margaret

https://www.instagram.com/simply_darlings/

Instagram: @simply_darlings

This new, southern mama/nurse has the absolute cutest style and cutest little family.

11. Rachel Timmerman

https://www.instagram.com/racheltimmerman/

Instagram: @racheltimmerman

Her and her daughter are the cutest little mother-daughter duo, and they always have the cutest matching outfits.

12. Bailey Hawkins

https://www.instagram.com/baileyannhawkins/

Instagram: @baileyannhawkins

Bailey is the sweetest soul, and she's always sharing loads of encouragement on her stories and feed. Although I don't know her on a personal level, she always replies to any message that I send her, and is constantly asking how she can pray for her followers.

13. Danielle Carolan

https://www.instagram.com/daniellecarolan/

Instagram: @daniellecarolan

Danielle is such a relatable college student, but I dream of being able to travel as much as she does. Not going to lie, I vicariously live through her stories when she's traveling.

14. Jess Fay

https://www.instagram.com/lipstickheelsandababy/

Instagram: @lipstickheelsandababy

The sweetest little beach mama, with the sweetest family and the founder of the cutest business, 30A Babe.

15. Shannon Peterson

https://www.instagram.com/shynnz/

Instagram: @shynnz

This mama openly shares her struggles of infertility, while sharing her life of raising 2 boys, and expecting another baby soon.

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