On Monday, first lady Melania Trump used her Be Best campaign to speak out against the dangers of social media at a cyberbullying summit in Rockville, Maryland.
CNN reported that Trump’s speech showed a disconnect between the messages the East Wing and the West Wing of the White House relay to the public. Considering that President Donald Trump consistently uses Twitter aggressively, her discussion about the “pitfalls” of social media hits home with no small amount of irony. According to Inquisitr, Twitter quickly pounced on her comments.
The first lady said, “Let’s face it: most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults, but we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits.”
In her speech, Trump pointed out the need for children to receive proper guidance on healthy and responsible habits for using social media. She said, “In today’s global society, social media is an inevitable part of our children’s daily lives. It can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly. This is why Be Best chooses to focus on the importance of teaching our next generation how to conduct themselves safely and in a positive manner in an online setting.”
— Jeffrey Guterman, Ph.D. (@JeffreyGuterman) August 20, 2018
Since she started her Be Best platform in May as first lady, Trump has focused on well-being, fighting opioid abuse, and positivity on social media. From her past remarks, she’s not afraid to tell her husband when he goes too far on social media, which is something he has a penchant for doing. In 2016, she told 60 Minutes that she felt that Donald Trump sometimes got himself into trouble on Twitter by pushing the envelope too far.
The now first lady said during her husband’s campaign that she tells him when he goes too far. “I think he hears me. But he will do what he wants to do on the end. He’s an adult. He knows the consequences. And I give him my opinion. And he could do whatever he likes with it,” Trump said.
Trump described the common goal of all the groups gathered at the cyberbullying summit succinctly. She said they hope “to pave a smooth way forward for our children, our next generation.”
While it sounds like she does her best at home, President Trump certainly has his own ideas for how to handle his social media interactions. No matter how good the first lady’s intentions, she cannot force her husband to cooperate. Sadly, tweets like the POTUS’s recent one criticizing former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman could be used as an example of how not to behave online.
President Trump wrote in a vicious tweet last week, “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
Perhaps the first lady’s campaign will somehow balance out her husband’s abusive use of Twitter.