The eyes have it.
What’s the most high-risk, low-reward thing you’ve ever done? When the online app UberFacts tweeted this question out on Friday afternoon, Monica Lewinsky responded with an emoji that’s worth a thousand words.
Make that a thousand tweets.
The anti-bullying activist who has spent more than two decades being known and often ridiculed as the former White House intern that then-President Bill Clinton had an affair with, which led to his 1998 impeachment, simply responded with the “eyes” emoji — which is sometimes used to represent side-eye, and can be used to suggest that someone is avoiding a message or taking a long time to respond to an uncomfortable question.
Her tweet drew more than 144,000 “likes” and almost 30,000 retweets within a few hours on Friday, with many people commenting by sharing laughing emoji faces. And the response led her name to become a top trending topic on Twitter
on Friday afternoon.
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Lewinsky has worked to pivot her previous notoriety into a platform to speak out against online bullying and sexual harassment. “It was an avalanche of pain and humiliation,” she told John Oliver in 2019. “I’m not proud of all the choices I’ve made in my life, but I’m proud of the person I am. I’m not ashamed of who I am.”
But she has also gained a Twitter following for sharing self-deprecating posts such as this one. In July 2019, when someone tweeted, “What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever received,” she wrote back, “An internship at the white house [sic] will be amazing on your resume.”
Many other responses to the tweeted question about high-risk, low-reward bets were less amusing, however, and highlighted decisions that have hurt people financially. Some questioned getting married, or being an essential worker at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But one of the most common responses was acquiring crippling student loan debt while earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the hopes of getting a well-paying job. That hasn’t always paid off.
Indeed, Americans’ student loan debt has ballooned past $1.6 trillion. And while student loan payments and collections have been paused during the pandemic, they are scheduled to resume in October.