Nerd Rant: Being a Geek is Cool
I'm a geek. Geeks are cool.
There was a time when being a geek, or a nerd, meant you were into things other people thought of as weird, and/or childish: Tech, D&D, comics, science fiction, fantasy novels, figures, and so on. If you were into these things, then you were getting picked on (actually, this is sometimes still the case).
Once upon a time I was called a “geek” and a “nerd” as if it were a bad thing. If you were really nerdy or geeky it usually meant that you had a hard time fitting in with the ‘normals’, and were probably a loner (like I was), or you were lucky enough to find the select few who were into the same stuff that you were. Which was a much more difficult task before the internet.
Then at some point in time I noticed that everyone started to call themselves a geek, or even a nerd. I’ve heard it all, and from people who have never been picked on, and are not into the things others get picked on for. I’m sure you’ve seen it; “Sports geek”, “Fashion geek”, “Shoe geek”, “Make-up geek”, “Beer geek”, etc. The word “Geek” has come to describe anyone with an obsession about any given subject, stuff that was never considered “geeky”. I’m talking mainstream, socially acceptable things. Since when has being into sports made you a misfit freak? Never? That’s what I thought.
Why is a word that was once used to insult a person, now used by millions of people to explain their obsessions? Not just any people, the same people who picked on “geeks” and “nerds” when they were in school.
A long time ago when I decided to use the word “Geek” to describe myself it wasn’t the popular thing to do, and I did it with it’s original intent; to describe people who are into science, computers, tech, gaming, science fiction, and so on. Basically, “Geeky” stuff. But now that it’s so over used, by people who have never been picked on, there’s a part of me that is super annoyed by it.
In the end, I guess it really doesn’t matter. Overtime there are words that transform to mean other things, for whatever reason. In a way I guess it makes sense that the word “geek” would come to describe anyone, with any kind of fandom/obsession.
As I wrote this post I couldn’t help but think of ‘The Guild’ song, “Now I’m the One That’s Cool”.