(1) It creates constant comparison and competition. Because Facebook tends to promote, if you will, self-promotion, people find themselves comparing their own lives and achievements to the top 1% of their friends'.
(2) Time becomes fragmented. This is of course a problem with our digital mobile lives in general but Gulati observes that because one can log onto Facebook from multiple devices, people tend to switch back and forth a lot, resulting in the multitasking that lowers productivity and decreases in people's ability to focus on a single task for a sufficient period of time.
(3) Ironically Facebook usurps real-life interchanges—face-to-face meetings and phones calls—thereby negatively affecting close relationships.
Gulati thinks that quitting Facebook isn't a realistic choice, but many others, both in his comments, and those in Jenna Wortham's article in the New York Times, disagree. Growth figures for Facebook in the US may support this view. The growth rate for the year ending October 2011 was 10% for the US, down from 56% the previous year. Some of this may reflect reaching a saturation point but it will be interesting to see how the numbers look in the spring as the company approaches its public offering. The perennial problem at Facebook, according to Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner, is keeping the millions of users they already have and making sure they are actively participating in the site. “They are likely more worried about the novelty factor wearing off,” observes Mr. Valdes.