I think that is smart to NOT join FB if you value privacy. It is designed to trick you into interactions you would not normally do: "friending" acquaintance of a friend of a brother, for instance. Or responding to outrageous comments someone makes perhaps intended only for close friends but broadcast to hundreds, or posted on a bad day, or they are jerks you would not normally associate with but they are the cousin of a friend's friend. Plus, the whole concept of FB "friends" causes its own drama if you do not accept someone as a friend ("What, you hate me now!?"). My daughters started off following lots of friends and accepting friends only to get enmeshed in many controversies and drams they would normally never even hear of let alone be "friends" with. They cut their list of friends way down which caused some family hard feelings, but they limit their postings to just those they are friends with in the real world. Another etiquette tip is to not slam someone's post on their own FB page as a comment. Let everyone have their say on their own page. If you vehemently disagree then post your opinion on your own page but don't attack others on their page. Likewise, don't allow attacks on your posts.
Personally, I am very happy without it. My wife and daughters use it to share quilting projects and kid/grandkid photos. But even as tightly controlled as they have it they still see a few outrageous political/religious rants that makes them boil. I can do without the drama and get plenty of value from other web resources (moderated blogs, web sites, search, etc), real paper-based BOOKS, and even LIVE people! YouTube has tons of instructional videos of varying quality, too.