ESSENCE Poll: Do You Think Social Media is Becoming Too Negative?
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Social media helps us stay connected and updated on current events. It’s also a great way for us to express ourselves. But we’re finding more and more often, social media is being used to hurt and harass.

Melissa Harris-Perry, who once thought of Twitter as a “party,” says she’s now fearful of sharing too much online. She says the online harassment has been “literally quieting whatever digital voice” she has.

“I’m at the point where I don’t retweet anything I really like because I fear I would send all of my haters, all of that harassment that comes to me over to those who don’t deserve it,” Harris-Perry said on her MSNBC talk show.

Actress Raven-Symoné is no stranger to criticism but even she’s had enough of the personal attacks on social media and blogs. She posted an open letter to her critics on Facebook asking people to stop attacking her via comments and blog posts.

“What does irritate me is the bullying tone toward myself and the opinions on the blog. Keep your disrespectful, mean, hurtful words in a diary for yourself,” she wrote in her post. “Personal attacking is not needed, and no matter what race, nationality, culture, or womb you came out of; strive for respect.”

While we sometimes find ourselves laughing at the comments section of blogs, or cracking up when Black Twitter goes in on a celebrity, we can’t ignore that some things said over the web may be hurtful. A recent Pew study reported that over 40% of people have experienced some form of harassment over the Internet.  

The social media age has made way for a new type of bully: the cyber bully who can anonymously and often relentlessly attack someone via tweets and unkind posts. 

Do you think social media has become too negative? Or are we being too sensitive to other people’s opinions? Take the poll and let us know your experience in the comments below.

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