In a PC Advisor poll of 811 site visitors, almost half (45.7 percent) said they considered social networking 'a bit sad, to be honest'.

PCA forum member mr simon commented: "Sure enough they have benefits but the amount of time people waste on there, especially in my demographic of young adults, beggars belief. If people's profile pictures were actually representative of how they spend the majority of their time, most people's Facebook picture would be of themselves, sat at a computer with Facebook up, hastily responding to status updates and wall posts and the like. Not my scene."

"For the most part it's technology wasted, with thousands of people swapping banal tedious thoughts with people they'll never meet," added Belatucadrus.

Asked for their opinion of social networking, just 5.4 percent ticked the most positive option: 'I love it, and spend more than an hour a day on social networking sites'.

A further 13.7 percent voted for the slightly less enthusiastic 'I like it, but it's not a massive part of my life'.

"Personally speaking, I think Facebook is a bit of harmless fun. I don't let it rule my life or suffer some kind of depression if someone 'unfriends' me," said DANZIG.

At the other end of the spectrum, more than one in five (21.8 percent) selected the option 'I think social networks are a threat to users' privacy and security', while 9.4 percent plumped for 'I think social networks are a threat to the future of the web itself' (echoing the comments by Sir Tim Berners-Lee that prompted the poll).

That makes a combined 31.2 percent - almost a third - sounding a warning about the threat of social networking either to users or the internet itself.

"I don't think too much personal information should be shared using this media and there is always a danger of meeting people who are not what they seem," pointed out ella33.

Based on 811 votes, December 2010. Add your vote to the poll, or join the discussion in PC Advisor's forums.

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