Alexis Moncada is not the average student at Florida State. With an online Twitter following of 136,000 followers on her account @Lexi4Prez, Alexis has been an active member since 2011 and an activist for as long as she can remember.
Courtesy: Alexis Moncada
Name: Alexis Moncada
Major: Social Work
HC: People would describe you as a social media influencer and/or an activist. How would you define yourself?
Moncada: I would definitely define myself as an activist. I use the Internet as a tool for performing some of my activism, but I don’t see myself really as an influencer the same way that other people are social media influencers. I don’t do brand deals or make money or market off my page. I’m actually kind of against that for the sake of my Twitter because it would feel like I’m exploiting the issues that I have a platform to speak about.
HC: What’s your favorite thing you have gotten to accomplish with your Twitter platform?
Moncada: My favorite thing I ever did was the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign! I remember tweeting out the idea one night and waking up to a full-blown storm of notifications and e-mails about my idea. I got to talk on the news, shows, and online publications, like MTV, about my idea and what it meant to me. Even people like Ellen DeGeneres and Idina Menzel talked about it and said they loved the idea. They mentioned it on SNL, too! It was amazing and although some people didn’t agree, it was nice to see that other people shared the same sentiment and would also love to see a princess who likes princesses as I would. I know that may never come with the Frozen movies, but maybe it will inspire Disney to start creating more LGBT+ friendly princesses.
HC: Is it hard balancing your personal life because your Twitter is public?
Moncada: It’s definitely hard balancing the two. Sometimes I have to take a break from each. You can’t really do two things well at once, so sometimes I take time out of my personal life to focus on activism, creating posts, and keeping up with all of the stuff going on. But, then I also take breaks from social media, because I also deserve that time for myself. There’s also the fact that everyone knows what my political opinions are, so a lot of people already don’t like me off the bat when they meet me, because they don’t agree with the things that I stand for. But, it’s okay, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to engage with someone like that anyways.
HC: What are the best parts about having your platform?
Moncada: The best part is the impact I’ve been able to make in people’s lives. I get messages every day from girls telling me how I changed their life, and it is so heartwarming and amazing to know that someone, even as insignificant as me, has the ability to help someone in the ways that women have told me I have helped them. For a long time, I just thought I was some teenage girl tweeting, but as my platform grew, my messages touched more and more young, impressionable girls, and I had the chance and honor to instill in them the things I wish I had instilled in me. I’ve found such an amazing community of women on social media that I feel such a powerful and genuine connection to and they remind me why I feel so inclined to speak out against misogyny and sexism.
HC: What are the worst parts?
Moncada: Especially since I’m known for activism, the worst part is the constant fear of making a mistake and having my reputation and name hurt because of it. Now that I’ve actually created something for myself, it can be torn down. I always feel like I’m walking on thin ice. I come from a good place, and my intentions are always pure, but people can’t see that. It’s not their job to [see that], but it makes me afraid that people will judge me too harshly because they think I know everything when I absolutely do not.
HC: What do you wish more people knew about you?
Moncada: I wish more people knew that everything I do on social media is purely because I believe in it. I don’t make any money off of this, and I don’t benefit from it. I do this work because I love and care about oppressed populations, and I want to learn and fight for them. I know some people think I’m doing it because it’s “popular” and because I have a following, but I’ve been doing this work for years. I’m going to school so that I can continue to work with disadvantaged people and help them because I genuinely love and care about them.
HC: What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
Moncada: I really want to get my BSW (Bachelors of Social Work), MSW (Masters of Social Work), and maybe get licensed and become a clinical social worker. I want to work with either domestic violence victims, pregnant vulnerable women, or kids. I want to do good work in the field and although I’m not sure where I want to start or finish, I want to make my way around.
HC: Lastly, I see on your social media that you like to keep your followers updated about what you’re learning in your classes. Why?
Moncada: I do those updates because a lot of my followers ask me what resources I use to learn, so I like to share some of those resources online so that people can read them at home, or whatever they like. Whenever I post anything, it usually gets a lot of screenshots, so I assume that people are paying attention.
HC: Thank you so much for your time, Alexis!
Moncada: Thank you!