I say 'deleted', but Facebook doesn't like the idea of you leaving completely. It only lets you 'deactivate' your account, and then it makes you go through a kind of exit interview, in which it asks you why you're leaving and tries to make you stay by promising to make things better.
I ticked my reason for leaving as 'I don't find Facebook useful'. The site immediately suggested that this is because I don't have enough friends. In fact, it said:
You might find Facebook more useful if you connect with more of your friends. Check out our Friend Finder, or search for them.
Also, try taking a tour of Facebook to learn about features others find useful.
Tellingly, other potential reasons it gives you for wanting to leave include 'I don't feel safe on the site' and 'Facebook is resulting in social drama for me'.
As far as I'm concerned, these reasons don't even cover the half of it. Not only does Facebook make me feel unsafe, it also makes me do things I don't want to do, and think things I don't want to think.
Being on the internet under my real name makes me feel anxious (this blog doesn't count because no one is reading it). Mixing up my professional life and my personal life makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. Spending hours seeing which of my friends have the most celebrity friends makes me feel disgusted with myself.
And it goes on. The very thought that someone might 'tag' me in a photo, for the whole world to see what I look like, frightens me beyond belief. Having a dream - an actual dream! - about trying to make Facebook friends with Cory Doctorow is just not right.
And to cap it all, I ended up joining a group called 'I love pants', simply because it came up in discussion on my other blog and it seemed like a laugh.
And that's the thing about Facebook; all this indiscretion seems like a laugh. Everyone's doing it - even Alan Rusbridger! - so it must be OK, right?
Wrong. It feels like getting drunk at university and playing the Truth Game, or strip Monopoly. It's fun at the time, but afterwards you really regret saying that thing, or removing that last item of clothing. You long to return to a more innocent, more guarded time, when you had a bit of self-respect and maybe even a bit of mystique.
Once you're on Facebook, all mystique is gone. It doesn't matter if you're Prince William or Prins Thomas, you boil down to a list of books you've read and what sort of friends you've got. It's so uniform and regimented it makes you nostalgic for the riotous self-expression of MySpace or Geocities.
Before I left, I looked at Emily Bell's profile page and noticed that she's giving Facebook another month before it becomes passé. I don't think it'll be long before 'not being on Facebook' is much cooler than 'being on Facebook'. Start brushing up for your exit interview.