Fortune Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle is speaking out about the powerful effects of the digital world and how we’re all going through a ″reset″ amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Duchess of Sussex spoke with Fortune‘s senior editor Ellen McGirt at the magazine’s Most Powerful Women virtual summit on Tuesday, tackling the challenges of the internet age and discussing ″what it will take to create humane tech.″
″We have got to all put our stock in something that is true, and we need to have reliable media and news sources that are telling us the truth…when you know something is wrong, report it, talk about it,″ Meghan, who called in to the event from her Santa Barbara home, said.
“It’s like we live in the future when you’re talking about bots and trolls and all of these things,” she continued. “It seems so fantastical, but that’s actually the current state of affairs and that is shaping how we interact with each other online and off — and that’s the piece that’s important. It is not just an isolated experience. It transcends into how you interact with anyone around you and certainly your own relationship with yourself.”
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Meghan, who has spoken out on the importance of voting in the 2020 election, opened up about her personal experience with misinformation, saying, ″If you look back at anything I’ve said, what ends up being inflammatory is people’s interpretation of it. But if you listen to what I actually say it’s not controversial.”
She also talked about the COVID-19 crisis, saying, people “are all going through a reset and we are all going through a moment of reckoning — and probably a reevaluation of what really matters.”
ABC Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
“For me, it’s been amazing to spend time with my husband and watch our little one grow and that’s where our attention has been,” she added. “In addition to, of course, how we can be a part of the change of energy that so many people are craving right now and whatever we can do to help in that capacity.”
She ended her conversation with a quote from American artist Georgia O’Keefe: ″I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.″
Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit is a three-day event that gathers ″the preeminent women in business, along with select leaders in government, philanthropy, education, sports, and the arts, to explore our theme, ‘Rising to the New Reality.’ ″
Just last month, Meghan and Prince Harry joined leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust who are working to make digital media a force for good in a video call, keeping their 1-year-old son Archie top of mind. Harry encouraged the activists to continue their work to end the negativity and hate that spreads online, joking that he felt he was already ″way too old.″
″You’ve got to stop, we’re not old!″ Meghan replied.
″But it’s true,″ Harry said. ″This is the world you’re going to inherit.″
Meghan quickly added, ″And Archie!″
″And Archie,″ Harry repeated. ″It’s on all of us collectively to make the world a better place…and we are.”
Meghan, 39, also addressed how the coronavirus pandemic has driven people online to connect, making it more important than ever to have positive online experiences.
″Everyone’s mental and emotional well-being are perhaps more fragile than ever before, certainly with COVID and our dependability on devices right now in the absence of human interaction,″ she said. ″People are going online more than ever before to feel community.”
Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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The Duchess of Sussex also said, “When you look at what these platforms are capable of with that reach, and what that propels in terms of trolling…You can either train people to be cruel, or you can train people to be kind. It’s really that simple.”