Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Social Media (Not A DJ) Saved My Life

This entry is part of a contest to win a new computer by LatISM. I don’t plan to keep the computer for myself but give it to someone in need whom I mention below. The contest is based on number of views, comments (so please leave one!), retweeting, and content.

I wouldn’t be here if it were not for social media. By “here” I mean writing in this space at this moment sharing this story. I remember a world where there were no computers, video games, cell phones, or answering machines. I remember a world where what we said we would do we actually did and that was our follow-through. The world wasn’t so lonely back then. Today, it’s a different story.

Today that follow-through has shifted. Someone shows his/her ability to be efficient and competent by simply sending an email. People get jobs without ever meeting their colleagues. Art is created, ideas are shared, love is transmitted, rituals are made, and change is created. Yet, that’s only if you have a computer, access to one, know how to use it, have someone show you how to use it, or the ability to read and write.

For all the things we love about social media, we as Latinos, LatiNegros, Caribeños cannot forget that we still need to do work that reaches all of us. I struggle with this often. Do I continue to write on this blog? Do I work to create something new in social media? Do I give into “big brother” aka facebook? How do I negotiate the space I occupy within this social median so that I can reach the most people possible?

Many of you know I’m a sexologist. What some of you don’t know is that social media saved my life! I’ve written about what I wanted for this year and without social media I would not have achieved what I did thus far.

First, I began to write. I began to write in this space that is my own and that I share with the world. I’ve received comments and visitors from all over the world. I am honored and continue to be each day.

I’ve reconnected with Erika Lopez, who I met over 5 years ago and we only kept in touch via email. But on facebook, twitter, cell phones, and google chat/voice we’ve created amazing frameworks for some of the most valuable, on the vanguard, art that this world has ever seen! Laughing, fighting, and debating with Erika has lifted me in ways I cannot put into words.

I’ve connected with Maegan La Mamita Mala Ortiz, whose poetry and writings speak to the center of my desire/action/efforts for libertad. Meeting her for the first time on a hot sunny day at the gates of the Catholic college I taught a women’s studies class at this semester is one of the highlights of my summer. Watching her perform parts of her poetry for my students and I was stunning! She reminds me everyday that I am a fierce media maker.

When George Urban Jibaro Torres put me on his Top 25 Latinos To Follow On Twitter I literally blew up! Overnight, no joke! He then had me on Radio Capicu! to discuss sexuality and relationships and people are still talking about that show today! George has been an amazing mentor for me in figuring out how to navigate all of the social media and helping me make decisions about where and how to best help Latinos learn, understand, and enjoy their sexuality.

When my homeboy Nezua started to follow me I got goose skin. I wish I knew who told him to add me on his twitter list, but I’m glad they did! Nezua has spent hours writing and talking with me about media, art, latinidad, sexuality, parenting, relationships, and things that make us both nostalgic. He facilitates this relationship that I’m struggling to have with technology and reminds me it’s all about the light!

Sofia Quintero got on twitter and it was ova! We’ve talked nonstop about media, popular culture, sex, hip hop, relationships, and shamelessly plugging one another left and right!

I’ve found authors and poets like Charlie Vasquez and bfp. I’ve found the woman that made me say “I want that kind of power when I walk into a room” Vanessa del Rio. I connected with Kathy CraftyChica Cano-Murillo! And no story is complete without the mention of my TwitterPutas. You know who you are! We have on another’s back, we love when we are loved, we support, inspire, encourage one another in all things sexy! What better space for a debacle?

So you see, in many ways social media has saved my life. I know I am not alone. Yet, I know how lonely it can get had I not had these people in my life, at my fingertips, able to talk with me in “real time.” There is a TwitterPuta who is unplugged because her computer is all kinds of jacked up. Who I can only talk to after 9pm because that’s when both of our daytime minutes won’t be used, who is someone I know loves me and you in ways we have yet to imagine. If I win this contest, and I pray to all the orishas, goddesses, gods and spirits that I do, this computer goes directly to her so that she can stay “plugged in” and send us her love, support, guidance, wisdom, and Twitterputeando on a regular basis! This one is for Sparkle.


  1. This is wonderful. I pray every night that all of my twitterputa friends are safe. Twitter really did change my life. It helped me get through a deep depression and get through a bad break up. Sparkle, in particular, always knew what to say to make me smile. She showed me that everything I do is valuable and that I had beauty and love to offer the world. Listening to her wisdom and encouragement has truly changed my life. (I'm not used to this kind of support). I love sparkle and wish there was more I could do to support her.


  2. OK you just made me cry! I love my twitterputas and I love that because of social media I have access to such amazing people as the people that you mention in this post! When I think of my RWOC sisters I always think of my twitterputas! You and the other twitterputas (including sparkle) make my life a lot better everyday! *muah*

  3. Awww! Social Media has really saved my life as well. Not only am I honored to get to know all of the wonderful Twitterputas but Twitter introduced me to the most incredible woman I have ever met, Laura Luna.
    Not many people know how lonely my life is as an overworked organizer in a long distance relationship and in a city that all my friends have abandoned. All of you keep me sane!I can't tell you how much I look forward to reading the tweets of all you incredible women and I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the wisdom and hilarity that comes from Sparkle!!

  4. sparkle's fantastic. bless you for this, bi. and the new moon's a GREAT time to put energy into this...

  5. yay! morning afternoon and goodnight LOVE all over the place! yay! thanks for gushing about everyone! --erika

  6. big up to you Bi! social media (Twitter) is how we met and connected! I was just telling someone that literally an hour ago. you are a gem for being you, and being so generous. sparkle connected us so let's do this for her! i luv ur tweets and the interaction with the twitterputas, i'm a groupie for y'all lol :) i'm so blessed and happy to have connected with all of you, mucho amor! xoxo

  7. All right, Ms Gurl! This for you and for Ms. Sparkle, both of whom make my online life quite happy and happening.

    And friends wouldn't do any less, would they?

  8. I understand the struggle of not caving into social media because it disconnects as it connects, but sometimes it's the only sure way to communicate these days. We don't have to worry about time zones or availability and we can just slow down for a minute, gather our thoughts, and tell the world. But I do miss those face-to-face days and long for them because true smiles can't be twittered or facebooked. Miss you, Bi.

  9. Go Bi go! May the technogods answer your prayers as well as those of all your Twitterputas. :D

  10. i place my ashe on this beautiful essay of love and support. li

  11. thank you all for taking the time to read and comment and support Sparkle as we work towards having her back in our lives virtually! I'll know this evening if WE have won because this is a communal gift, not an individual one!


  12. go Bi! go Sparkle! i hope you get it, you deserve it! social media is saving my life too!!!

  13. We didnt win the computer for sparkle. Thank you to everyone who commented, retweeted, and sent good energy our way in efforts to get her connected to all of us again!

    Here is the winning post:

  14. This was absolutely beautiful! I call my used, refurbished out-of-date laptop my "Lifeline" because I would've definitely sunk into a deep depression without it. Six months ago I moved from Atlanta to L.A. for a promotion. I often felt isolated for I knew NO-ONE there! My laptop & social media helped me maintain my sanity & to survive those ROUGH first few months. I hope you win the computer for your friend...I hope she finds the peace that I found with mine!

  15. Wepa... Bianca, you are an amazing voice and the fact that you would even mention makes me warm and fuzzy. My doors are always open to you...

    Quick Question? Can I become an honorary TwitterPuto? I like the way that sounds...