According to a new Pew Research poll, a larger percentage of women and minorities use social media sites than their white and male counterparts—for instance, 69 percent of African-Americans aged 18 to 29 use social media, whereas only 63 percent of white Americans do. On MSNBC today, Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Perry argues that social media platforms offer a voice to segments of the American population that might not have had one before.

"These voices that haven’t had the traditional routes into cable television news or radio, they use social media as a way to be entrepreneurial in news discussions, in arts and culture discussions," she said. "It’s a way of being in control of one’s own media sources." And as for the women, who use social media at a rate of 48 percent, as opposed to men at 38 percent? Social media can help connect women whose hands are full as working mothers, a position Harris-Perry describes as sometimes socially isolating. "Just that ability to have a voice," she added, "In the corporate boardroom you might be getting hushed and shushed, but you can say what you want on Twitter."

—Carrie Battan