Google Buzz Less than thrilled with Google Buzz? You aren't alone - but it's tough to avoid all the buzz. Here's how you can get it out of your life for good.

Since introducing the new social networking tool last week, Google has come under fire for everything from privacy concerns to feelings of information overload. The Google gang got down on its knees to apologise, offering tweak after tweak to its Gmail-centric service. Still, many people are none-too-pleased with their automatic enrolment in a program that invaded their inboxes.

Now, there's an easy way to bid Buzz adieu once and for all.

My Google Buzz goodbye

Personally, I'm in the camp of those who are pretty much ready to tell Buzz to buzz off. In the hours leading up to Buzz's official debut, I had optimistically hoped the service would end up providing us with a way to manage our existing social media connections - centralising something old, rather than creating something new. Instead, as I'd feared, Google's Buzz is really just adding more noise into an already buzzing area of my life.

Now, as any regular readers know, I'm fond of many of Google's services (I'm even bordering on becoming an Android fanboy, according to a highly scientific quiz I just took). I use Gmail to manage my numerous email addresses and accounts.

And that's precisely why I'm ready to say bye-bye to Buzz: privacy considerations aside, the last thing I need is yet another social networking site to keep up with when I should be working. And the last place I need it is in a website that serves as one of my main productivity tools.

Getting rid of Google Buzz

If you, too, are ready to swat Buzz away, here's how. Surf over to Gmail and sign into your account. Scroll down to the bottom of the main inbox screen and look for the link that says 'Turn Off Buzz' - it's at the very bottom of the page, just above the copyright notice.

Thanks to Google's most recent set of changes, that link now leads you to an expanded menu of Buzz-specific settings. You'll find options to control whether your Buzz 'following lists' are displayed on your Google Profile page, to remove Buzz-related content from your Gmail page, and - if you're ready to fully pull the plug - to disable Buzz altogether.

The Buzz-busting option deletes anything and everything Buzz-related from your Google account: your public profile, your connections, and any posts you may have shared. You'll retain the option to re-enable it in the future - a small 'Turn On Buzz' link will appear at the bottom of your Gmail inbox screen - but all other signs of Buzz will be banished, one might say, to infinity and beyond.

See also:

Google Buzz review

Google tweaks Buzz privacy settings

Google apologises for Buzz privacy gaffes

Smartphone blogs: is Google Buzz any good?

PC World