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How to flee the Facebook frenzy

Want a short respite from Facebook? A clean break? Here's what to do.

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With more than half a billion members and 900 million community pages, Facebook offers a world of online distractions. Yet for all the social network's virtues – family photos, enthusiast groups, and an inexhaustible stream of friend updates – Facebook still exudes the faint odor of its potential ills – privacy concerns, replacing human interactions with digital small talk, and an incessant stream of I-don't-really-know-you updates.

Many campaigns have called for users to outright delete their accounts. "For a lot of people, quitting Facebook revolves around privacy," says QuitFacebookDay.com. "This is a legitimate concern, but we also think the privacy issue is just the symptom of a larger set of issues." The website claims 37,700 members have committed to quit, though there's no way to confirm signatories actually bit the bullet. And the group's rallying page on Facebook reports 8,499 "like" this campaign, but everyone in that tally is still an active Facebook user.

For most people, deleting a Facebook account is the nuclear option. The site is often more fun than it is troubling – more convenient than annoying. Still, if you're not totally happy, here are some ways to mitigate Facebook's frustrations – such as how to put your account on ice, how to block certain annoying users, and how to see exactly how much dirt Facebook has on you.

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