I am a geek and proud of it.
Now what exactly is a geek, you might ask? Sure, most people have heard the word before; it is often used as a derogatory term that is interchangeable with words like nerd, dweeb and dork. However, nowadays more and more people are viewing the word “geek“ in a positive light, and it has even become a source of pride for some people, like myself.
The word’s origins aren’t exactly positive though. Versions of the word are present in various dialects such as Low German, Dutch and Afrikaans and they translate to fool, freak, or alternatively, crazy. How insulting is that? I mean, I may be a crazy freak, but I am definitely no fool.
Anyway, back to the definition. Well, not really, because in fact there is no clear-cut definition. It is a term whose meaning is constantly disputed. I could ask ten people to define the word “geek” for me and I would most likely receive ten different definitions, albeit with some similarities between them.
My personal definition of “geek” is a little complicated, but basically it amounts to a person who either has a wide variety of interests in the less socially acceptable subjects, or who has a specific area of interest within these subjects. And just to clarify, when I say “less socially acceptable subjects”, I mean things that are not considered “cool”, like Sci-Fi, Fantasy, video games, Anime, Star Trek, etc. I’m not talking about things that are really socially unacceptable like bestiality or public nudity. Just so we’re clear.
In addition, geeks tend to have a love for technology. They need not be master computer hackers or anything though; it’s the interest that counts. And it needn’t even involve computers either; many geeks have a love for the latest phone technology, cameras, tablets, MP3 players, TVs, etc. The list goes on. Why all the interest? Because first of all, gadgets and gizmos are fun to play with. Secondly, they are intricate and require in-depth knowledge to use to their fullest potential. And herein lies another key trait of the geek: Passion for knowledge.
Geeks are very passionate about their subject(s) of choice. Whether it be about books, games, movies, technology, etc., geeks love to analyze and theorize and discuss and debate. They love to pick apart the minutiae of the subject at hand. In fact, the word “geek” is starting to refer to just about anyone with a passion for something. We’re seeing car geeks, sports geeks, art geeks, science geeks, blog geeks ;) , pretty much anything under the sun geeks. The word is truly evolving all the time.
Many people also tend to associate the term “geek” with someone who is antisocial, but I believe that to be false. While it’s true that many geeks (but not all) feel uncomfortable at the bar and club scenes, it’s not because they are unable to socialize with those around them, it’s just that this type of atmosphere holds little to no interest for them. Conversely, take a dancing party girl and plunk her in the middle of a group of geeks re-enacting Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch (“He’s not dead! He’s pining for the fjords!) or playing an MMORPG such as WOW (translation: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game and World of Warcraft, respectively) and let’s see how uncomfortable and “antisocial” she becomes.
More and more, the word “geek” is being redefined to refer to someone who is individualistic, creative, intelligent, and moreover, as someone who is unafraid to show it.
I believe that most people are more geeky than they’d care to admit. To them I say, take pride in your uniqueness! Dress up as a Star Wars character, wear T-shirts emblazoned with in-jokes, discuss the logic of the plot of the Lord of the Rings (why couldn’t the eagles just fly them to Mount Doom already?). The point is, you’re allowed to like these things, even if many people think it makes you “uncool”. A little eccentricity never hurts. And hey, the more people who actually admit to liking these things, the cooler these things become in all of society, not just within the world of geeks.
And you’ll see, soon enough that world of geeks will be named… Earth. (mwahaha)