Social Network Sites – bane or boon?

I have been questioning a lot about my participation in online social network sites (SNS). Many a times it appears like time wasting exercise especially since I am yet to monetize it in any way. Then I console myself that, since these sites are rapidly becoming an integral part of marketing and communication plans, I need to be aware of user behaviour especially as I continue my journey as communication consultant.
One of the things that power users of twitter will tell you is that more often than not the platform is used to crib and rant. A new rant for each day has become an ongoing joke on twitter. It’s not really an erroneous opinion. Easy usability does lend itself to voicing anger, irritation or dislike. But the medium has also provided a beautiful method to support people in their happiness and tough times.
As quick are twitteratis to voice their discontent, they don’t hesitate to delight in happiness of their twitter friends. The support extended during crisis or tough times is equally heartwarming. If efforts have been made to share, help and participate in conversations, equal love flows when help is sought. And this is not restricted to online. People form connections on these social networks and honour it in offline life too.
When I pause and look at the positives, I am enchanted by these new medium of connecting that this generation has evolved. Does it have downside? Of course it does, like any other thing which is abused by overuse or otherwise. So, like always, it is up to me!