If you like Facebook but don't like the way it handles privacy and annoying applications, here are some simple fixes.
The ultimate fix: Deactivate
Almost all these issues - even those deemed 'unfixable' - have a creative, if dramatic, solution. Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd documented a process called the 'super logoff', which uses the 'Deactivate Your Account' feature as a more comprehensive means of logging off. Though Facebook makes it nigh impossible to permanently delete an account, temporarily deactivating it is straightforward and immediate. All your photos, events, status updates and other content will be archived and made unavailable to your friends. You won't be listed in their networks, they won't be able to tag photos of you, and there will be no wall for them to write on - until you reactivate your account, which is a similarly simple matter.
In essence, deactivating your account disrupts the persistent nature of Facebook that allows your online presence to exist even when you are not online. The downside is that your relationship with your friends will be almost entirely one-sided: you can view their profiles whenever you choose to reactivate your account, but they cannot see yours unless your account is active, eliminating much of the interactivity that Facebook offers.
See also: Ten tips to get the most out of Facebook