Michelle Obama Discusses Social Media and the Roles of Men and Women
by Hannah Benson
Michelle Obama, former first lady, was interviewed by Elizabeth Alexander, an accomplished poet. Obama discussed several important topics, and gave some strong and truthful answers.
The first topic Obama was asked to discuss was centered around the “raising of strong men,” especially from a mother’s point of view. Obama commented, “It’s powerful to have strong men but what does that strength mean? You know, does it mean respect? Does it mean responsibility? Does it mean compassion? Or are we protecting our men too much so they feel a little entitled and a little, you know, a little self-righteous sometimes? But, that’s kind of on us too as women and mothers, you know, as we nurture men and push girls to be perfect.”
Another topic Obama stressed the importance of, is having good friends to talk to. She shared that it is important to have people who can give you feedback, and help talk through problems with. She admitted, “I had to plan my time with my girlfriends, that kept me grounded, and brought me laughter. I have a crew of wonderful women. I am blessed to have a wonderful community of girlfriends who I raise my kids with. All of that has kept me whole.”
Obama was honest stating, “That’s something for all folks. But I think as women we do it better. I know, it’s sad for you guys. Y’all should get you some friends. Get you some friends and talk to each other, because that’s the other thing we do. We straighten each other out on some things.”
Some students at Walkersville High had different opinions regarding talking with friends. Freshman Madison Shively shared, “I don’t think you should talk to friends, for personal problems, but I do believe you should talk to someone. Like a therapist or your mom, because those are people you can trust, and your friends would tell other people. So, I don’t think you should confide in your friends with personal problems.”
“Only if you trust them,” freshman Emily Cook commented.
Sophomore Xavian Gordon agreed with Obama stating, “I think the best way to keep a friendship healthy, is talking.”
One of the final topics Obama stressed, was the careful use of social media, especially twitter. Obama exclaimed, “You don’t just say what is on your mind. You don’t tweet every thought… Tweeting and social media, that is a powerful weapon that we just hand over to little kids…Most of your first initial thoughts are not worthy of the light of day. And I’m not talking about anybody in particular, I am talking about us all.”
Shively said, “Things can spread, once you put it out there, it’s out there. So basically, you can’t trust anybody. If you want to keep something in a little group, or say this doesn’t leave this little group chat, it does. No, I really think the next generation should be the generation where we don’t let kids have contour pallets at the age of eight, or iphones at six years old.”
“I feel like if you are under ten, I feel like you shouldn’t [have social media] because there is a lot of stuff that you shouldn’t be open to until you are at a more mature age,” Gordon shared.
Cook stated, “Children should have social media, but not as much as we have. It’s a nice outlet, but it shouldn’t be the only thing we are doing with our lives.”
Walkersville students have their own opinions, even if they are different from Obama’s. But in the end, she recognizes the importance of being a mother, self-health, and caution on social media. To watch the interview, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1UNGaSlAKQ
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