Tag Archives: nerd

How to Be a Geek

While staring at my screen as I put together my next post in my noggin, I idly started typing things into Google. Being a technology geek, I tend to use search strings to see what people like me are looking for. I typed “How to be a Geek” into the search box and was actually stunned at the results. The Internet has it completely wrong – and so do you. The definition of the word itself just isn’t right y’all. Being a geek has nothing to do with carnival performers, computer gurus or peculiar people.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a geek is someone who is passionate about something. There are computer geeks, sure. There are also gardening geeks, motorcycle geeks and word puzzle geeks. Everyone has a passion of some type. I don’t honestly care if you love playing the drums, writing poetry, playing a sport or simply sitting next to the ocean while staring into space. Those things which are you most involved with and excited about are what make you a geek.

I hate seeing the geek label being used in a derogatory manner more than I explain. Those who don’t know any better assume that a geek is someone who hides behind a computer screen, has no social skills and is unkempt. Sure, there are people like that out there somewhere. There are also those of us who have vibrant lives outside of our online world, who are obsessively clean AND who know how to converse in social settings.

Being a geek of any type is something to be proud of. Proclaiming yourself as one means simply that you truly care about whatever it is you’re doing. You love it… you eat, sleep and breathe it. You LIVE it. Can anyone explain to me how in the hell embracing our passions is a bad thing?

A geek cannot be stuffed into one tidy little description. When I polled Twitter to find out how all of you define this term, one answer stood head and shoulders above the rest. Kristijan said that “A geek is someone who would never succeed in defining “geek” in 140 characters or less.” Right on!

What type of geek are you?

How to Come Out of the Geek Closet

Geeks are everywhere. We tend to hold some of the coolest jobs on the planet. Our group has some of the most amazing (and personable!) people as core members. The gang is widely accepted socially these days – right? Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Why is it that even in the days of phenomenal technological advances we still sometimes have to hide who we are? Why are geeks ostracized in any capacity?

One teen on Lockergnome reports that his mom told him to not tell people he is a geek. Say what?! He explains further by saying: “When I call myself a geek in front of people, they don’t seem to understand what I mean. Some people misinterpret it for being the Hollywood stereotyped ‘I love school, reading books, doing homework and physically weak nerd.'”

I cannot believe that people feel as though being a geek is a bad thing. Hell, a geek isn’t necessarily even someone who is a computer lover. A geek is anyone who is passionate about something, whether that be technology, water polo or art class.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel there are still negative connotations in conjunction with the word geek?

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How Does a Geek Survive High School?

High school is the best four years of your life – and the worst. It’s difficult for anyone to navigate their way through the ups, downs and drama. Believe it or not, even the popular crowd struggles on a daily basis just trying to survive. Imagine what it’s like for those of us who are Geeks! We’ve been looked down upon, picked on and stuffed into lockers for years. Now that Geeks are actually becoming “cool,” it may not be the nightmare that I recall. So, then, I ask you: what tips do you have on surviving high school for the younger members of our community?

To be honest, it’s not only Geeks that could use a little help. As I already mentioned, it’s pretty much every teenager who ever walked the planet that I want to help. Let’s put our heads together and come up with some excellent tips and tricks to give them. When I’ve collected several of them, I’ll publish a new post – just in time for back-to-school. Leave your tips here as a comment to the post.

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Are There Any Drawbacks to Being a Geek?

My mouth hit the floor when I read the title of this thread earlier on Geeks. A drawback to being a Geek – what?! Are you kidding me? Being a Geek is the best possible thing to be. We have it all – brains, looks, girls… what more could we want? The looks, well, just because they are funny looks at times means nothing. It’s just part of the total package that makes us so amazingly perfect, right? And the girls – ahhh, the girls – we all know that Geek boys get all the girls, right? Wait, what? You have trouble finding a girlfriend? Well, perhaps if you showered more often, and stopped being so nervous around the fairer sex. Fine. The looks and the girls may be lacking. But we have the brains! And the brains get us the money! And the money gets us more Geeky gadgets! Who needs girls, anyway?

Ok, time to get serious here, my fellow Geeks. Do you actually feel there are drawbacks to being a Geek? I’m interested in hearing your answers. For me – life is good when you’re a Geek. I’m comfortable with who, what and how I am… and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I know that not everyone would agree, so let’s have it.

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What is a Geek? What is a Nerd?

Geek!This is Barbara’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Maybe it’s just me, but I believe there are many differences between the expression and characteristics of a “Geek” and a “Nerd”. Obviously, the typical nerd does not compare to the status of a geek today – but what are they?

Have nerds just evolved over the past decade or have we merely accepted their existence? Has the “Revenge of the Nerds” era reached its burial grounds or have they simply diversified? Are the nerds emerging from the depths of “yuck” into the swans of the future – or were they always that way and we just didn’t see it? One thing’s for sure – they don’t look like they used to anymore, nor do they fit the personalities of what was once typical for a nerd (gross, disgusting, and in a field of their own).

I began to ponder these questions. I jotted down the obvious (characteristics, endeavors, etc.) and came up with an amusing acronym for both of them in order to do some clarification. Note that this isn’t in any way the true acronym, but in the name of the HP Magic Giveaway, please humor me a little:

A GEEK has {Great Expectations for Exceeding Keenness} and a NERD displays {Nothing Extraordinary Regarding Dynamics}.

Sounds simple enough, right? They’re both smart, but a “geek” exceeds the expectations of everyone and is eminent, while a nerd is anything but. The “nerd” lacks any sense of power between the two groups (geeks and nerds) and is anything but extraordinary.

Way back when, a nerd was an embarrassment to society, as they portrayed the typical “yuk” appearance and weren’t exactly the model citizen. Sure, they were smarter than the rest of us, but did anyone really want to be classified as such? I mean, really! They carried their pocket calculator and dressed in the distinctive plain white “button up” T and wore those wretched high water pants as if they were preparing for a major flood. Oh, and we mustn’t forget that horrible tape around their glamorous eye wear. They were such a mockery to the rest of us…

Then, something strange began to happen. The nerds were transitioning, like an alien invasion across the world. Suddenly, they were hidden among us. Nerds were evolving into something more, something acceptable. They became what we now know as the “GEEKS”. GEEKS were receiving followers from across the waters. They were a new world phenomenon – they could look great AND be smart. Now, rather than turning our heads with shame at them, we absorb what they have to say, we flock at their every whim, we trifle at their intelligence with awe and we go crazy with their appearances (sexy / hot).

So, the question is: what is a GEEK? What is a NERD? As a society, are we just jealous – because now, not only do they (the GEEKS) have the smarts, but they have acquired the looks of the “elite” as well? I mean, it’s not like they’ve altered the chemical balance of their being… right?

At What Point did You Know You Were a Geek?

Since the inception of Geeks, I’ve often wondered this: how and when did you know you were a Geek? I’ve always been one, I just didn’t realize it really until college. I asked everyone over at FriendFeed when they discovered the truth about themselves. Some of them were hilarious, while others were dead serious about their Geekitude.

The minute you know who Chris Pirillo is and can pick him out of a line-up… :-p – Live4Soccer

The moment I first heard about Dungeons and Dragons in 4th grade (78 or 79). – Just a Tad

March 13, 1972, born in the bay area unto two BART engineers and ex-Apollo rocket worker before growing up in Silicon Valley. – Eric Rice

Not sure if I’ve become one yet. I’m more of a nerd. – JustdoitMS

The entire world knew I was a geek when I got called to the principal’s office to reset his new digital watch after daylight saving time ended/began. – ha3rvey

I think I’ve always been one, but the boyfriend helped bring it out even more, so Feb. 2004! – Kat

Um, when I saw the moon landing when I was a few years old. But, really, when I got into Jr. High in 1977 and joined the first computer club at Hyde Jr. High in Cupertino and got my first tour of Apple Computer (back when it was only one small building). – Robert Scoble

Birth… the child of English/Drama teachers (one working as an engineer), who were friends with science fiction writers, like Roger Zelazney and the Haldemans. Seeing Star Wars when I was 6 didn’t hurt. – 9 (clever name here)

When I stole mom’s copy of Stephen King’s "IT" off ehr headboard to read. i think I was 7. – WarMaiden

My moment was when I walked through the door of the now-defunct Commodore Hotel across from Madison Square Garden, for the Bicentennial (1976) edition of the Star Trek convention (the only one on the east coast that I know of), way back before the popular use of the word "con". The attendance was limited to 6000 people. I heard the most recent DragonCon in Atlanta was 10x that much. And the very fact I know that is verification of my geekitude, as well as my geezertude. – Rick Wolff

Who you callin geek? – Brian Norwood

My mom and I used to play "Trax" on the Atari in the late 80s – it would read the game off a cassette player…I thought that was so cool. My mom would always beat me which strikes me as cooler now. – Kamath

sometime between 1982 and 1984 whenever it was i first made a triangle on an Apple IIe. then my inner geek went dormant until about 1998. – tiffanyNeedsANewNickname

When I bought my VIC-20, in 1983, with my own money. – Joey Gibson

When I went to math and science camp two summers in a row. – Stupid Blogger (aka Tina)

I suppose it became official on Christmas morning when I was 8 and there was a shiny new TRS-80 under the tree. The next Christmas I got a 5.25in floppy drive and it was the schiznit. – ※Lindsay Donaghe※

Conception. – torque

When I started talking extensively about IP multimedia subsystems, IP protocol, packets, session border controls or heard others speak about it and it made sense to me. last night was an example. IP engineers at the dinner table talking shop and i could completely understand all of it. – Patricia

Is this a "conception vs. birth" thing? – Mark VandenBerg

I think it was a birth defect. 😉 – Kol Tregaskes

When I accidentally the whole internet. – David

At my cousin’s house, walked into a room and instead of TV on TV, saw PONG! Did I mention I would soon be wearing an orange sweatband on one wrist and a calculator watch on the other? <nostalgic sigh> – Micah Wittman

When I realized I knew more about computers and QBasic, than my teacher in Middle School. – Michel Bechelani

At the point of conception. – Stuart Forsyth

What kind of Geek are you, and when did you realize it? Do you embrace your Geekitude, or do you hide it from others?