Internet Time Machine

How to Be Free on the Internet

Or, the case against Twitter bios

Harris Sockel
Published in
4 min readJul 19, 2014


Photo: Tina Terras & Michael Walter/Getty Images

This story is part of the Internet Time Machine, a collection about life online in the 2010s.

Social media ninja. Certified foodie. Dancer like no one’s watching.

Thus speak the unspeakably certified microblogger-ninjas of the website that resembles a bird with no eyes. Possessors of a feudal Japanese cunning, assassinating pantsuits, pop stars, and cans of soup. Katanas blazing, lying half-naked under imported cotton, in bed, petting a thousand tiny lights. Everyone is watching. And everyone is watching everyone watching.

Also, I don’t have a Twitter bio.

Oh, I’ve come close, and Jack Dorsey has swung his legs over my shoulders and ridden me like a pony, but I’ve refused. Twitter has called me about it, on my rotary phone: “YOUR BIO IS BLANK, HAVE YOU GONE MAD, HOW WILL YOU NETWORK WITH OTHER HOMINIDS IN THIS BAD ECONOMY AND IS THIS YOUR WAY OF COMMITTING SOCIAL SEPPUKU” I hung up, and still have not written a Twitter bio.

And it’s not just Twitter. The rest of my bio boxes are blank, too. Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr: baby blue, blue, blue. I have limited my virtual self until I exist in nothing but vague shades of blue, shades that tell you: He has