Women’s March on Washington D.C. (Chicago Version)

Being part of this epic movement of women and people across the world marching to battle racism, hatred, sexism, misogyny and xenophobia, I felt energized. Like in the past, I’ve felt united with my people, however this massive event makes the other protests look small. I saw people of all ages walking, chanting, singing some Aretha Franklin songs and capturing the moment. Of course, though, the signs were the best. We saw Carrie Fisher make an appearance, men reminding everyone that they can be feminists, too and of course the epic Shepard Fairey posters that came in every size.

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I’m not an immigrant and I’m still scared. This is why.

The journalist side of me tries with all its might to stay objective. The Latina in me caps the emotions that I feel toward people who hate.

I’m used to writing about elections from an objective standpoint. However, this year has been hard and the lack of communication and understanding by so many is making the results of this election and presidency much harder to handle.

I’ve been paying attention. I’ve been listening and watching. I wasn’t a fan of either candidate and although I agree with so many that said, “I want a nominee that I can stand behind and that will represent who I am, not someone that’s just an alternative to hate,” it was really hard not to want to just stop Trump.

Since the beginning the things that he was saying seemed like the biggest joke. Extreme, inconsiderate, hateful and usually targeted to particular segments of the population– Mexicans, Muslims, people with disabilities, women. In a country that supposedly stands its ground on Christian virtues, the same population that says “there’s a war on Christmas” and always aims to bring Christianity into politics– how do you support hate?

I was always taught to look out for my fellow human being. I was taught to help, be a woman for others. Even though I did not grow up undocumented, poor or under privileged, I’ve seen the impacts on my community because I chose to be a part of it. I also am because of my skin color, because of my name and because I’m bilingual. Those are things I cannot deny.

Privilege

This election really brought out the question of privilege. Male, white, wealthy privilege. I’ve had my run-ins with it on varying degrees.

This is an example of what white privilege is: At a point in time, I was in a position where I had to communicate and work with older white men with more money than I can conceptualize. I was at a bar, sitting with one of them when we struck up a conversation about college. “So, where did you go to school?” he asked me. “University of Illinois in Champaign,” I responded. He says to me, “Oh! My son is there. He’s fourth generation Illini.”

Let that sink in for a second. Fourth generation. Fourth. Not first, not second, but fourth. This man’s grandfather had obtained a college degree. That means a good job, money, savings, understanding of corporate structures (because he probably started one), business savvy, and something to pass along to his children. By the fourth generation, college is a given– not a question. By the fourth generation, money issues (if dealt with well) aren’t a problem. Language, no issue. Then after graduation, you have a multitude of resources, parents that know just what you need to do to be a white-collar worker with nothing to complain about besides the lack of a raise.

I said the only thing I could say, “Wow. That’s great.” What else could I say? I was a first generation college student. Although my uncles had degrees, my mom had an associate’s, my father graduated high school and my grandmother didn’t even get an eighth grade education. How am I supposed to compete with a fourth generation college kid? Our worries were not the same. Our concerns were not the same. Regardless of the situation, I was always going to have to prove myself.

College wasn’t exactly the most welcoming place either. It didn’t matter who I was, but what I looked like mattered to many. We were feared after a frat party decided to celebrate a Tacos and Tequila event by dressing up as Mexicans– border jumpers, pregnant, wearing the flag. We were called spics in the street. I was talked to plenty of times only in Spanish and it was usually assumed that I was born in Mexico.

Once after being around my friends at La Casa, I returned to my dorm upset only to be asked, “Are you upset about some Mexican thing again?”

After college, outside of my comfort zone, people tried to pigeonhole me. They tried to figure out why I spoke English so well. “You’re so articulate!” I’d hear as if it were a surprise. Was I supposed to say thank you?

Since I talked to my friend Teresa about it, I will always remember something that she gathered from an instructor of hers: “They don’t know what they don’t know, so they don’t know.” It all made perfect sense after that.

The Last 18 Months

I never liked Trump. His smugness was so stereotypically masculine. He had all the money in the world, he turned his nose up at people who didn’t like him and he wasn’t prepared at all. I guess you can say he was a real white rich man in America that could do what he wanted because– privilege. Money gets you everywhere. Didn’t you know?

Then started the Mexican talk. Then the people with disabilities talk. Then the condoning violence and the beating of innocent people because… because… the man was Latino? Then came the accusations of bias because of heritage. Then the whole pussy-grabbing thing.

This man was in no way representing me. At all.

Voters and supporters of him say, “American Sovereignty!” Sure, I believe that since you know, his platforms and plans are so well thought out and planned, right? I don’t have a clue what this man wants to do besides put up a wall on the Mexican border, try to deport Puerto Ricans and end the Affordable Care Act.

To that I say, whatever. The American government will never please everyone. If he makes America function better than it has, great. White men have always governed this country and they will continue to for a very long time.  

My greatest fear is for all of us who are different. Because of what he has been saying, because of his mockery of people, because of his attitude, he has made it OK to harass the minority. He’s made those intolerant people show their true colors. He’s making it OK to demean, hurt and put down these individuals for what?   

Trump has said in the last 18 months everything that makes racists xenophobic, bigots homophobic and intolerant, and men pigs. He’s brought to light anything and everything that could possibly upset the white privileged and less educated people. Simple words, simple phrases that stuck. Those same phrases that made me say, “What the hell?!” made other people nodd in agreement.

And as Van Jones said on CNN, “It was a white lash.”

The Fear

I remember learning about the Holocaust. Learning about slavery. Learning about how Mexicans were treated as second class citizens. I remember learning about Japanese internment camps, the Native American trail of tears and the fact that every president during those time frames were some of the most vocally racist people this country has seen. I just saw 13th on Netflix that connected all the dots for me.

I don’t want to live through that. In a country where we’re taught that freedom prevails and equality is justice, I’ve seen very little of it that is blanketed over all people.

It doesn’t exist. It’s an ideology that people keep saying we have, but I don’t see it.

For the most part, after reading about all that has happened in history, I want to just think that it’ll never happen again. Everyone out there is going to have enough sense to say, “I’m sorry, no. Genocide is not right. People are citizens with rights if they’re born here. Human rights apply to all people.”

We’ve seen Hitler’s rise to power. We know what Stalin, Mussolini and Franco did. For those of us who have any idea of what happened during the World Wars, the rhetoric and jargon used in this election mimicked that of horrible times in history.  

In many, if not all, of those instances, there was a cleansing of the countries. Getting rid of the problematic people, uniting under one God, one flag, one country.

For those of us who have been verbally pinpointed by our president-elect, he may as well have put a target on our back. That’s the first step, isn’t it? Making the target feel less than and letting everyone else know they’re susceptible to indiscriminate behavior is the way to start breaking people down. Kids at Royal Oak Middle School in Michigan are already doing it. They heard what the man said and they’re acting upon it because they can. Then there’s this— a recap of what was done and said after the election. We’ve already seen it throughout the campaign trail and now that their leader is the president of the “free world” what more validation do you need to hate?

What Next?

I’d love to say that I could give him a chance to lead, but I’d be a liar. I’m scared. I don’t want to be a number, I don’t want to be harassed more than usual. I don’t want to be put down because of my last name or because I’m Latina.

As far as the government goes, it’s been Red before. I just hope that they all have the common sense to put a stop to the hate and stop him from being the next dictator. It will be the end of anything “united” and in fact, will divide the country as it’s doing so right now.

I’m proud of those who are speaking out and calling the election for what it is. Those people are the ones that start the conversations and bring the issues never spoken about to light.

The protests that happened across the country last night were against the fact that this person could be put in a position of power. It was a staging of First Amendment Rights. It was a staging of energy, anger and fear for what’s to come and proof that not all of the United States are backing a man just because 50 percent of the country voted him into the White House.

Those people that came together are activists, organizers and community folks who’ve been working their tails off for a more just society. They work at non-profit organizations, they work with the people of the community, trying to better their situation and way of life. How do you think so many people knew about and acted on the protest? Because of organizers.

There were some good things to come across the election– quadrupling the number of Women of Color in Congress was one. Let’s see how they do against the privileged Red. More states are legalizing marijuana on different levels.

After the Black Lives Matter movement, the senseless killings and all the other messes we’ve found ourselves in recently, we want to move forward. But in all the different ways of looking at it, as a proud Latina, I’m afraid we’ve just taken one giant step backward.

Tito el Bambino in Chicago for Billboard en Concierto

I always say that Reggaeton was yet another wave of Latino music that made it big in not only Spanish, but English as well. It carried with it the ability to cross over, back and forth, from one language to another; it brought with it Latino pride and called it out in some of the first songs from N.O.R.E. and Nina Sky; and it carried a collaboration factor because at one point it felt like every song had either Daddy Yankee or Ivy Queen featured.

The music emerged as an Urban Latino push that crossed nationalistic borders. It wasn’t just a Mexican or Puerto Rican phenomenon. It brought with it a “if you’re proud to be Latino, stand up.” As much as people didn’t like the rise of Reggaeton, I secretly did enjoy it and listened to it with my sister because at the time, it was the only thing on mainstream radio that related to me. I could hear it and identify with it and it was the “pop” music of the time. It was every where.

But then, the inevitable happened. It started to be a pigeon-holing ploy directed to Latinos and the fad died. What ever happened to those singers and performers? Where did all the hype go and who died to make Pitbull King of Latinos?

The only time you hear Reggaeton now is in the Latino clubs or on Spanish radio and once again it was “given back” because mainstream was getting tired of it, apparently.

Tito El Bambino in concertSo when I found out that Tito el Bambino was coming to Chicago for the Billboard en Concierto Series, I decided that I wanted to go. He represents the romanticism, the Urban Latino feel and the collaborative goodness from a couple of years ago. Although he only sings in Spanish, I can dig his music and his vibe. Especially when he can mix in different types of music to make a great dance beat and be included in weekly workouts, I can appreciate the music that he’s making and putting out there.

I don’t even know if what you can call him is Reggaeton anymore. He seems to be branching out more and more per the video with Marc Anthony above. How can you not enjoy someone who works with Marc Anthony?

Tomorrow my sister and I will be able to meet-and-greet Tito el Bambino and watch him perform at the House of Blues here in Chicago. I am definitely looking forward to it.

I’ll be tweeting from my personal account @Kiki416 and using the hashtag #Net10Latino. Thanks to Net10 I’m able to attend my first Reggaeton concert ever. For more information about this concert and the Billboard en Concierto Series click here.

Who are these “Latinos” you speak of?

What is it about Latinos that lead people to believe that they have to be spoken to in another language. Ok, ok, I guess all of the speaking Spanish is a dead giveaway, but then again, why are people having such a hard time reaching this demographic of people? These black and brown people who speak different languages and just act so…so… differently?

Ultimately, what people don’t understand is that Latinos are just like the rest of the country. We listen to music, we speak English, we watch things in English and we go to school here. Let’s specify Latino as someone of Latin American descent who lives in the United States; immigrant generation through second, third, to ninth generation. Yes, there is such a thing. Usually, they’re known as Texans.

We just look at things differently. Many researchers in terms of language say that we’re smarter for being bilingual. When you talk about cognitive development, having an extensive vocabulary and having a sort of natural focus on things, it’s kind of impressive. Since we’re bicultural, we grow in a more worldly fashion, most of us. We are less likely to put others down because of their differences and more likely to learn about a variety of cultures in the world. If anything, the more diverse we are, the more we absorb.

But hell if you hear someone with an accent. They mark you as a foreigner and hold it against you that English wasn’t your first language, not that you’re learning a new one. Have you ever thought about it this way: I know they have an accent because they speak another language and therefore should be admired for speaking a language other than their own? Nah.

And that’s not just for Latinos, that’s for all immigrants.

Little me.

Since I was a kid, I spoke Spanish. Right out of the womb, I was talking to my dad and grandmother in their native language while growing up with my cousins, mom, aunts and practically everyone else speaking English. They tried to convince me I was American… the little American girl I was supposed to be until someone pointed out my tan coloring and a girl at school told me I was too dark to like a lighter-skinned boy. My first memory of Kindergarten was teaching the girl sitting next to me how to say the days of the week in Spanish. Since day one, I was spewing my Latin goodness into the world.

I knew I was different, but not in any way that was going to make me ashamed. If anything, it was going to show my parents how strong I could be as a girl of Mexican descent in this country and how I was going to make it work for me. I noticed all the differences growing up and how I was a part of organizations, clubs and more because I was brown and spoke Spanish.

I was going to be the educated Latina that no one was going to put down or insult indirectly (even though it happened anyway), because I was going to tell you the truth. I was going to tell you how it really was with the history, the insight and the stories.

After playing my role as an “angry minority” in college, a friend of mine told me, “Don’t hate, Christina. Educate.” And damn, Ric, I took that to heart. So here I am, explaining. Or at least trying to.

With that said, I feel like I have to teach almost everyone about who we are as a community, as a

Mural art in Pilsen | Chicago

culture and as a group that is going to be one of the most powerful in the country very, very soon. This is why I’m very much in favor of quality education for children of color, why I expect so much out of my sister and little cousins and why I expect goodness, quality and high standards out of those around me. If you hold them to a high standard, they will perform at a high standard.

I also believe in knowing your place, or that you even have one. This is why I tell people about Latinos’ history in the United States, because, darn it, we have been here for a very long time and we’ve contributed so much to the building of the country. Those kids I went to college with, who chose to learn about it, naturally made their way into social services to help, pick up and lend a hand to people we know need help, using education as the tool to help do that, not to learn about the situations. That came from experience.

Many of my friends and I, we’ve taught ourselves about our place in the country, what we’ve given, where we’ve lived and what caused societal issues that affected the underrepresented communities of the nation. We learn about it and tell our stories through music, writing, theater and standing up for ourselves against any kind of oppression whether stereotypes, discrimination or prejudice. We do it through marches and collaborations; love and support; toughness and expectations. And ultimately, my team and I plan on standing up for ourselves by changing the way people think about us.

This new community, this new generation of Latinos who have chosen to make a new path though education and equality, this is the generation of Latinos who will take over this country. These are the people you have to talk to: the professionals who sit in the next cubicle, your boss, the guy on the bus, your lawyer, your doctor, your waitress and the musician on the stage. They may not “look” Latino, but trust me, they are.  We’re all around you, so don’t be afraid. We probably like the same things you do, talk the same way you do and have pride in the same sports teams you do—and no, it’s probably not a soccer team.

You can talk to us in Spanish, we will understand you. But you know what? Treat us as humans, as equals. In the end, that’s what wins, isn’t it?

Lollapalooza 2012 Coverage: Uno

Photo by Abel Arciniega | Tequila Graphics

I covered Lollapalooza for the second year in a row and what a three-day-doozie that was! As I kept telling friends over and over, covering festivals is exhausting. Although Saturday lost about three hours due to crazy rain and torrential downpours, the Red Hot Chili Peppers came out full force and with a vengeance against the rain. Mobs of drunk 20-something-year-olds sang along to songs like Californication, the Other Side and Under the Bridge, songs I remember from grammar school and high school.

Photo by Abel Arciniega | Tequila Graphics

Plenty of the people who came back to the festival after the two hour break came back drunk, which made for an interesting night. It took me about 15 minutes to get from the photo pit entrance out to the street, sifting through drunks who couldn’t walk straight and others who were just as fed up as I was with the day and mobs of people.

Sunday was quite eventful and more chill than the other days. With time to catch At the Drive-In and see pieces of Florence + The Machine, I didn’t really stick around for Jack White or any of the other closing acts. I had had enough.

After counting, Lollapalooza 2012 was the ninth music festival that I’ve covered. And I’m not done yet this year.  Because of that, I put together a list of ways you know you’re covering Lolla or any other music festival for that matter, because in the heat, sun, humidity, rain, storms, elbowing the crowd, it’s all the same.

You know you’re covering Lolla when…

You know you’re covering Lolla when the highlight meal of the day is a fruit and nut bar and water in a box. Or beer. Solo.

You know you’re covering Lolla when cameras weigh 20 lbs and lenses are as long as your forearm.

You know you’re covering Lolla when you hear complaints in the tent about time, songs and attendees.

You know you’re covering Lolla when you come to grips with losing something or having to throw something out after the weekend. For example, losing chargers, contacts, sunglasses, your seat and having to throw out shoes, note pads and attempting to salvage anything that was dropped or had water damage.

Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers | Photo by Abel Arciniega | Tequila Graphics

You know you’re covering Lolla when you curse the short sets of the bands you actually wanted to see. Or curse the fact that you have to leave half way through the set to catch other bands.

You know you’re covering Lolla when people unpack cameras, laptops, ipads, extra keyboards and their own outlet strips.

You know you’re covering Lolla when a shower, silence and being alone on Monday sounds like heaven.

You know you’re covering Lolla when media become friends and not competitors. Except for the photo pits when everyone becomes savages.

You know you’re covering Lolla when you scoff at tables reserved for theTribune, Sun Times or Getty.

Neon Indian | Photo by Abel Arciniega | Tequila Graphics

You know you’re covering Lolla when walking a mile in less than 10 minutes doesn’t phase you.

You know you’re covering Lolla when you thank the heavens that you don’t have to use the public port-o-potties.

You know you’re covering Lolla when you drink boxes and boxes of water but never use the bathroom. Hello dehydration!

You know you’re covering Lolla when you get impatient and just want to hear the band play the “good” songs.

You know you’re covering Lolla when free anything doesn’t matter anymore, but privilege never gets old.

NATO Summit protests in Chicago

For those of you who live in Chicago, you’ll know that NATO brought a tad bit of fear, chaos and traffic jams to the city. Over two days, world leaders met with the Obamas and with Rahm Emanuel who carries the hopes of spiking Chicago’s tourism in the years to come by approximately $1 billion. It’s amazing what showing off the skyscrapers can do.

While first ladies were being given tours of the Art Institute and Barack Obama was hosting a working lunch at Soldier Field, protesters from around the United States took to the streets to protest everything from home foreclosures to the end of the Iraq and Afghan wars. The most moving of the week-long event (the one which I missed) had to be Sunday’s protest where a group of war veterans gave back their medals in anger and outrage that the war hasn’t yet come to an end. The protests went well into the night, causing a clash at McCormick Place between some anarchistic protesters and the Chicago Police Department.

In the following photos that I took Monday morning/afternoon, you will see the amount of security on the city’s streets. This is what a militaristic society may look like with beetles walking around. Hopefully, here in Chicago we will never know. Needless to say, they hauled out everyone from Homeland Security to the Secret Service. In a few photos, you will see white vans lined up along Jackson Avenue and Loomis Street. You’ll also see the Chevy trucks lined up on the street outside of the Federal Building downtown. Relatively quiet, the marchers didn’t make their way into the downtown area until around noon and by the time I left, were gathered on Randolph Street near Millennium Park.

After a week-long protest calendar, it was observed that many of the protesters out Monday were of the younger generation. Melissa Howe, a native of Chicago, said that she had always wanted to get involved in Occupy Chicago but hadn’t and thought the NATO Summit would be a good time. Which made me question what she was protesting. As a student in Pennsylvania, the only thing I could imagine would be banks on the premise of high student loans in the future. A New Yorker with a guitar, Stephen Clark, 23, said that he had come out because the capitalistic society that we live in had taken over the music industry in a way that allowed for subliminal messages and bad music to get on the radio waves. “The music industry is ruled by the one percent,” he said. Clark studied music in New York. You will also see photos of him below.

People vs. Police

While many wanted to blame the police for issues, Monday’s protest was peaceful. There were people recording and stating that the CPD were members of the militaristic state while others were telling the officers that they had to respect the protesters because “we pay your salaries.” Take into consideration, the officers were not doing anything that heeded this insight. While standing in place while the organizers of Occupy Chicago spoke to the group, some sitting, officers could be overheard talking to each other saying things like, “You know what’s funny? These kids have better phones than I do,” and while chants emerged from the crowd to the extent of “F*ck Obama” one officer was overheard saying, “But you’re still going to vote for him.”

While many extreme protesters came out to recreate 1968’s National Democratic Convention, more called for a solitary movement, understanding that it was necessary to stand together. One would have to think that the CPD at this point, are a little more level-headed. Yet, I may be overestimating. With officers there to keep watch and maintain peace, protesters were in no way limited to what they could say. In the same sense, the CPD also have to keep in mind that it wasn’t too long ago when they were having their own fight with the king of Chicago. A couple of years ago, Daley had a hard time negotiating with the CPD over their contracts and while I may be suffering from an economic crisis, I’m not putting my life on the line every day. In support for our 17,000 police officers, it’s only fair, isn’t it?

There are more similarities than differences among the CPD and those protesting. Just like everything else, opinions will be different from one person to the next, but pinning one group of people against the other just doesn’t work. Chicago has every right to protect its city and if we have to pull everyone out to do it, so be it. There were plans for Molotov cocktails to be thrown at four police stations Obama’s headquarters and Rahm Emanuel’s home. Good thing they got those guys.

Please note, these photos are not edited. I wanted to get them out as soon as possible.

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Copyright 2012 Christina E. Rodriguez
Photos cannot be used without the written consent of the photographer.

You’re friends with your family on Facebook?

It all started with my mother. She decided to get on Facebook for some odd reason. She claims that it was to keep in contact with her old friends from the neighborhood and to find out what was going on in their lives.

It’s funny when your family gets onto a social network only you knew about and have been a part of for the past eight years. Yes, that’s right. I’ve had a profile on Facebook since the days of http://www.thefacebook.com and when it was strictly limited to colleges and universities. There’s a certain process that everyone goes through I think after creating a profile. In college, we talked about our addictions and you didn’t really realize it until someone pointed it out to you. Now, it’s almost a necessity to stay up-to-date and plugged into the worlds that you’re a part of. Yes, worlds. Plural. With an S.

When my mom got on Facebook, and more recently my cousin Desiree, it suddenly seemed they had more to talk about. “Did you see that [insert family member here] went to [insert tropical location/event here]?” Or “Why does [family member] always talk about [obscure messaging inserted here]?” Yes, they had been bit by the social media bug. It was incredible that about seven years later I was discussing the basics that I had learned as a freshman in college.

I had a friend who would start a conversation by saying something like, “So I saw on Facebook that you went to that show yesterday.” One day, I got sick of it and called him out. “Dude,” I said, “we’re friends. I’m sure you can come up with something more original than, ‘I saw on Facebook…'” I wanted someone to know me for me, not for what image I portray on Facebook. I think that’s the main difference between being involved in media and not. You HAVE to know the difference and how it’s going to affect who you are and who you network with.

But I digress. Last night, I had the opportunity to talk to the teenagers at the Christopher House Youth Leadership Program about the damage that social networks can do to not only relationships but your chances at things like internships and potential jobs. “Don’t put up anything you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard,” I told them. I gave them a mini-branding session of sorts, explaining that not only do they have to be careful of what they put up, but they also have to understand how Facebook can help them. “What would I learn about you if I looked at your profile right now?” I also told them, be careful, especially if you’re friends with family members. I can’t begin to describe the looks of disgust on their faces, the laughs and scoffs in the air.

I proceeded to show them my profile with my big face projected on the wall. “See? There are all my family members right there,” waving the mouse over the left side of the screen. “When you have a family of 62 it’s easier to keep up with everyone via Facebook.” And I realized that we had (at least those of us who are friends and comment, like and chat on the social media program) become closer. I could see pictures of my nieces (the ONE) and nephews (the HOARD) in their Halloween costumes and now Christmas pictures. I know how they’re doing in school, what they did over the weekend and at a distance, I’m still a part of their lives. I have family who live quite a distance away, so seeing them every weekend is not practical. Plus, we all have lives of chaos.

What’s interesting is that we have festivities like birthday parties, holiday parties and all of that good stuff, where we invite EVERYONE. That’s right. This is my mother’s side, by the way. She grew up with seven other brothers and sisters, so you can see how the duplication happened. Our oldest cousin is already in her 40s so we continue to multiply by vast amounts. A new wave of us is born about every two or three years. We can pack a house, to say the least. Oh and don’t forget the boyfriends, girlfriends and family friends who come along with the packages already instilled in the Perez blood line. Family gatherings are never boring. There’s always someone to talk to.

Having our family on Facebook is like having your own special club where you can tag everyone in a picture and have your other friends be jealous that you are so in touch with cousins and extended family. There are inside jokes and comments to be made. It makes you feel more in touch, even if it IS over a computer.

I remember when I didn’t even HAVE the internet. Remember AOL? And Dial-Up? Exactly. I didn’t have that and my best friend, who at the time moved out to Plainfield, did. I remember her saying, “Well, once you get the internet, we can chat and we won’t feel so far away.” We were still writing letters to each other occasionally. Letters! Snail mail! Needless to say, we ended up being roommates for two years before she moved to Georgia then Florida, getting farther away from me. So guess how I get to see her two little boys who I consider my children? FACEBOOK! And text messages and picture messages and all that stuff. Sometimes she’ll pass the older one the phone so I can figure out what he’s trying to explain to me. It’s cute. I love them.

The way I see it is like this: Facebook makes sure you remember the ones who play some sort of role in your life and the way you use it is important. It becomes Matrix like. If you’re not on it, you’re out of the loop. If you are, you have to know how to use it to your best benefit. There are tons of new applications and ways to use these social media sites, but it’s up to us to educate ourselves on them, as with anything else.

It literally helps me to stay connected and up-to-date with the people I love the most.