Everybody’s got a little geek in them

Since I’m graduating in May, this will be my last chance to share my passion for all things geek with you. I could get sentimental, but no one wants to read a weepy goodbye. So let’s dry our collective tears and get down to business, because I’ve got a good question for you.

What does it mean to be a geek?

By Chris Ulicne,

Senior Staff Writer

Since I’m graduating in May, this will be my last chance to share my passion for all things geek with you. I could get sentimental, but no one wants to read a weepy goodbye. So let’s dry our collective tears and get down to business, because I’ve got a good question for you.

   
What does it mean to be a geek?

   
Wikipedia says a geek used to be “a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, gaming, etc,” but the definition has since become a topic of hot debate.

The word “geek” was, for a long time, a derogatory term, but nowadays it’s sometimes considered “complimentary, or even a badge of honor, within particular fields.” According to the article, there are four different characteristics that scream GEEK!:

   
(1) “A person who is interested in technology, especially computing and new media. Geeks are adept with computers.” Who doesn’t have an interest in technology in our modern world? It’s almost impossible not to. It’s not just the nerds who can’t wait to get their hands on that shiny new gadget-we all want it. You know you do. As for an interest in new media, raise your hand if you have a Facebook account. Enough said.

   
(2) “A person who relates academic subjects to the real world outside of academic studies; for example, using multivariate calculus to determine how they should correctly optimize the dimensions of a pan to bake a cake.”

Okay, not all of us take it to that extreme, but how can you completely avoid analyzing the world around you after you’ve taken a few college courses? Personally, I know I’ve had plenty of experiences where I’ve found myself noting the thematic elements and symbolism in a movie, or the fear tactics used in a commercial promoting the newest health or beauty product.

  
(3) “A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance.”

Well, alright, social acceptance is important to a lot of people on some level. But I think all of us-college students, especially-at least come pretty close to fitting in this category.

After all, we choose academic majors, which is a pretty big declaration of concentration. Moreover, I doubt anyone would claim they’re aiming for “conformity” or “mainstream social acceptance.” The very concept contradicts our urge to stand out. Even geeks want to be cool and admired, but for what sets them apart, not what makes them the same.

   
(4) “A person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity, depth, or subject of their interest.” In other words, a geek is simply someone who has a passion for something. Whether it’s the latest fashion trends, classic computer games, politics, comedy, art, music, drama, sports, etc., we all have a special place in our hearts for one thing or another that your friends couldn’t care less about. I’m not sure the “mainstream” even exists anymore; we’re all so incredibly diverse, because there are so many new things to love.

   
Okay, so I took some liberties in my argument-not everyone who uses Facebook has a deep interest in new media, for instance-but I think there’s some sense in what I’m saying. I think anyone could find themselves fitting into at least one of these categories.

    If you ask me, the evidence proves that we’ve all got a little geek in us.