According to Wikipedia, geek is a slang term for, “a computer expert or enthusiast,” or, “a person who is noticeably above average intelligence, usually more adept in technically demanding fields, and socially awkward or alienated to some degree.”
Awkward as they may be, without geeks, where would we be today? Somewhere along the line, being a geek became chic.
How did being a geek become chic?
It all started with ‘overly intellectual computer enthusiasts’ a.k.a. ‘geeks’ that have radically changed the world we live in. Today’s world simply could not exist without the software-hardware infrastructure coded by ‘geeky’ programmers.
Over the last few decades, being a geek has gone from being a derogatory term, to a badge of honour. It’s a recognition of specialization in a field of interest, particularly technology and new media, occassionally at the expense of social skills, hygiene and status, perhaps. But who is laughing now?
Today it seems like ‘geeks’ are running the world. Well, technically the software and platforms geeks are building are running the world. But geeks continue to affect our social and economic activities in every industry. It seems the geeks really have inherited the earth, afterall.
Pop culture plays a big part in glamorizing the geek, turning them from people no one wants to be seen sitting at the lunch table with, into the kids you wish you were brainy enough to be youself.
Back when Steve Urkel was on TV, geeks were ostracized as the nerdy, dweeb-ish, poindexter types. Flash forward and tell me after seeing The Social Network that you didn’t wish you were as smart as Zuckerberg, or at that you were his friend? Geeks have undoubtedly become chic.
To understand how prevalent the rise of geek chic is, you have only to watch Two and a Half Men, where the main character, Charlie Harper, a hedonistic male bad boy played by Charlie Sheen, has been replaced by Ashton Kutcher’s character, Walden Schmidt, a ‘geeky cool,’ socially awkward, internet billionaire. It seems pop culture has come full circle. Geeks are the new bad boys of pop culture.
So, thank your techies at work today for building and maintaining service for all the things in your life that you hold dear. Or risk getting hacked by that badass programmer. Because let’s face it, they own you.