'I Never Knew What It Was Like to Have Anonymity'
Chelsea Clinton is not on Instagram. Or TikTok.
The former first daughter doesn't spend much time on social media, but if she does, it's usually Facebook or Twitter."
I am very comfortable communicating in words," she said at a panel discussion set to air on CBS for Mental Health Awareness Month. "And so the older social media platforms felt easily accessible to me to be able to be my authentic self."
Clinton joined Glenn Close, Raquelle Stevens and professional soccer player Midge Purce to discuss issues surrounding mental health and social media at the event, which was part of Two Bridge's Changing the World Series: Hosted by Harris Schwartzberg and Dr. Jim Kim.
Clinton said she would never post photos of her children online. She shares Charlotte, 8, Aidan, 6, and Jasper, 3, with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky.
"I am fiercely protective of my children's privacy. They are the most important part of my life. I would never show a picture of their faces or our family's faces, and it would feel just weird to me to be on Instagram, a visual media, sharing the small moments of your life or big moments of your life."
Clinton also acknowledged that her upbringing influenced the way she feels about social media.
"I'm mindful that my childhood prepared me, though, in many ways for social media the day after I was born," she says. "I never knew what it was like to have anonymity."
"Everything that people say to me on social media today they have said to me in person, all of the most kind of extraordinarily awkwardly complimentary things and the most grotesque, vile, hateful, violent things. All of it has been said to me in person. And much of it was said to me in person long before I was old enough to drive."
She went on to explain how she has become accustomed to it.
Thankfully I didn't have to learn how to navigate the emotions of the anonymous comments, because I have always had people whose names I don't know, who I never seen before, who I probably would never see again come up and say to me, Oh, your mother is my hero, or I really wish your mother had aborted you, because wouldn't it be great if you weren't here?" she said.
"The online stuff, with all of its glory and gore, was just like a larger version of what my life had always been."
She reiterated that Instagram and TikTok hold little appeal for her. "Thankfully I have not had to learn how to not fall down the rabbit hole of Instagram because I'm just not dependent on it," she says.
"But I do hope that my experiences can really help my children when they are old enough... Maybe when they're 15 they can have social media. Maybe."