Michelle Obama has a bit of advice for millennials eager to have their voice heard: think before you tweet.
“When you have a voice, you just can’t use it any kind of way, you know? This whole ‘tell it like it is’ business, that’s nonsense,” Obama said in a conversation with poet Elizabeth Alexander. “You don’t just say what’s on your mind. You don’t tweet every thought. Most of your first initial thoughts are not worthy of the light of day.”
Twitter and social media, she continued, can be a “powerful weapon.” At a point drawing laughter and applause from her audience, Obama clarified that her suggestion wasn’t aimed at “anybody in particular,” but rather she was “talking about all of us.”
“When you’re the first lady or the president, [or] the commander in chief, and you have that voice and that power and that platform,” Obama said, “what comes with that is the responsibility to know that every word you utter has consequences.”
Former president Barack Obama closed the two-day summit with a speech on Nov. 1. The event was attended by 500 youth participants from 60 countries. Other speakers included Prince Harry, rapper Common and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, with performances by Chance the Rapper, Gloria Estefan and The National.