We spend an awful lot of time using social networks to keep up with people, discover news, and bring new functionality to our favourite apps, but they can get cluttered pretty quickly (not to mention destroy your privacy if you aren't careful). This weekend, take some time to clean up, organise and re-privatise your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts.
Declutter Your Facebook Profile
Let's start with the biggest, most obvious and likely most cluttered of your networks: Facebook. Facebook is easily the network with the most annoyances, though you can fix most of those with the awesome Social Fixer browser extension — whether it's menu items, font sizes, or even filtering out certain posts. You probably also have more Facebook friends than you'd care to count, and maybe even a few extra Facebook apps too.
Too many friends on Facebook can actually make you unhappy, not to mention make Facebook harder to navigate, so routinely unfriend people you don't contact to keep everything tidy. While you're at it, you should take a look at Facebook's Friend Lists feature, which lets you split up friends into different groups for increased privacy and a cleaner news feed.
Of course, if you don't want to go through the trouble, Facebook's new Smart Lists do an OK job of organising things for you.
Once you've done that, it's time to delve into your privacy settings. Facebook's privacy settings are pretty much a mess these days, so check out our always up-to-date Facebook privacy guide for step-by-step info on combing all of the available settings for a perfectly customised experience.
This should get you most of the way, though I'd also take a look at all your apps, revoking permissions for any app you don't use. For the ones you do use, make sure they aren't set to share stuff automatically to Facebook. Turn off any integration settings you don't want and you should be good to go. Image: Rishi Bandopadhay.
Tidy Up Your Twitter Stream
Twitter is a much simpler network. With such limited functionality, you're less likely to get annoyed with it directly, though its interface certainly has gotten a little bloated over the years. If you'd rather have something a bit prettier and more functional, a good desktop Twitter client is always the best way to customise your experience.
Like Facebook, you should also regularly go through the list of people you follow and unfollow those that you don't particularly care about, to keep your stream a little tidier. You can also use Twitter's Lists feature to organise your followees as well. Next, you might want to clean up all those spam accounts following you, which you can do with previously mentioned Nest Unclutterer.
Lastly, if you're starting to get annoyed wading through the heap of narcissism on Twitter (or maybe you've become part of that heap yourself, check out our top 10 uses for Twitter that aren't self-indulgent. There are a lot more cool things you can do with the service than tell everyone what you had for breakfast.
Organise Your Google+ Circles
Google+ is the youngest and least overused of the big three, but it isn't without its own issues. It is Google, after all, which means privacy should still be a concern. Check out our guide to Google+ privacy to see everything you can do to control your personal information and like Facebook and Twitter, keep your circles well-groomed.
Uncircle+ is a useful tool for unfollowing all those Google+ users that never say anything. And, if you're finally ready to make the full time switch to Google+ from Facebook, we have a guide for that too.
Consolidate Multiple Networks Into One
In the end, each network is good for different things (or annoying for different reasons), so if you're actively using them all, things can get hectic pretty quickly. These tools can help you post to all three networks at the same time, so you don't have to constantly jump back and forth.
Bliss Control will help you manage each network's settings from one page — so you don't have to change your profile picture or update your email settings three times. Similarly, MyPermissions will help you manage your app permissions and privacy controls for all three networks in one consolidated location, which is great.
If, in the end, you decide you're done with social networking though, check out previously mentioned AccountKiller to find out how to delete all your accounts right now (though if you can't live without them, you could always quit without actually "quitting").
Got any tips for managing your social networks that we didn't mention? Share them with us in the comments below.