After logging in to Facebook yesterday and seeing yet another notice about how Facebook is going to swap my data with just about any site they feel like, I realized I don’t want to have to check their extremely complicated privacy settings every week or two to make sure they haven’t changed something I care about.

Besides being an incredible waste of time, it’s futile: they have made a practice of making significantly bad changes you can’t do anything about. Some of these changes can have real consequences down the road, and I just don’t need that. Moreover, it is not clear what real effect the settings have, in practice. So, since I didn’t grow up with Facebook and I’m not going to go through social withdrawal, it’s out.

It turns out that really deleting my Facebook account is not so easy. It is obvious how to “deactivate” your account, but it can be turned back on at any time, even by accident, if you respond to one of your friends email invitations to an event or other Facebook happening, wiithout being aware that it means reactivation.

However, thanks to several great posts by Dan Yoder I finally found the secret. Log in to Facebook, then click HERE to really, really delete your information. If you have already deactivated your account, RE-activate it (yes, its worth it) and then click the link and delete it for good.

In case you’re still on the fence, here’s a selection of well-articulated reasons for why others are choosing to leave Facebook.