Embracing Geekdom

Everyone has an inner geek. But not everyone is proud of it. For years, the term has been given a negative connotation, focusing on its implication on a person’s social skills or awkwardness rather than the positive impact it has on a person’s general well being. But even the so-called cool kids can be rabidly interested in a particular topic that they can spout off statistics from the back of their heads. And this does not make them any different from the kid with the glasses who finds solace in securing the high score in the latest online game fresh off the launch, or burying his face in a book, or acquiring memorabilia from the oldest Star Wars movie.

Defined, a geek is (colloquial) a person who is intensely interested in a particular field or hobby and usually antisocial. The term is often used with an attributive noun;A geek is also (colloquial) an unfashionable or socially undesirable person; an expert in a technical field, particularly one having to do with computers; or (dated) a carnival performer specializing in bizarre and unappetizing behavior.(www.wiktionary.com)

I for one, am guilty of multiple geekdom and it doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m a TV geek, a movie geek, a gossip geek and a bookworm. I get my kicks glued to the TV to catch the latest episode of Gossip Girl and lurk in spoiler sites to find out what will happen to Blair Waldorf and whoever it is she is being paired with at which point in the story. I get frustrated and sound off if I don’t get my way. I can probably name most of the demons that Sam and Dean Winchester battled throughout the six seasons of Supernatural. I can sing songs from almost all of the episodes of Spongebob Squarepants or Fairly Oddparents. I watch Asianovelas and anime and surf through most cartoon channels until the wee hours of the morning. I watch movies voraciously on cable and in the cinemas, and mostly on DVDs, even those in black and white. I have most of the best slasher flicks and horror classics on my shelf. I read the books even before they are adapted in the big screen and obsess about how it fared against the literature. I have read and reread the Harry Potter series (mostly before a new movie is set for release) and even read the Twilight saga (I did like it even if most critics hated it). I go to bookstores and wish I could stay there for a week until I read all of the novels I want. I go ballistic when I find a books with dogeared pages and lined spines.

I admit, that at times, it does get in the way of my social life (when I rush home straight after work to catch my shows), and I swear that sometimes, people just want to shut me up from spouting trivia they never ask for about their favorite stars. It’s all good. I embrace my quirkiness and my family and friends like me for who I am (yes, I do have them).

Do I sound pathetic? Some would say yes, get a life. Some would say, no you’re completely normal, I feel the same way. See, in my opinion, geek is just a term used by people to degrade or humiliate others who have the courage to pursue what they want and enjoy in life without fear of social repercussions. Check out the latest comic convention or cosplay event in your area and you will find it to be the most fun gathering of people dressed like their favorite fictional characters (which are often painstakingly and artistically handcrafted) in an environment of general acceptance and appreciation. Or meet techies at the latest product launch of a high tech gadget and check out the grin they wear on their faces as they explore their new “toys.”

I once saw a documentary about Trekkies, hard core fans of the Star Trek franchise. There was this one guy who built a replica of the enterprise and they use the set to make short films about Star Trek which they put on youtube. When he was being interviewed, you could see how excited he was about the project and you can see the passion that most people don’t find in their “normal” lives. His dad helped him build the model, and his friends all came in their Star Fleet uniform to shoot the video. If you visit the set of most Sci Fi features raking in the dough at the box office, you will most likely find geeks making the impossible possible for viewer enjoyment. They work on their project for hours on end to translate imagination into reality on the big screen. Had they not embraced their geekiness, perhaps, we might find ourselves without Avatar, or Star Trek, or Tron Legacy. Suffice to say, geekiness and coolness are relative. Most geeks have the coolest jobs that pay ten times the money than the average. A lot of people censure and ostracize geeks in general but enjoy social networking, or software that these very same people dared to develop to make life easier.

I understand that maybe, there are times that geeks take their interests to a whole new level, letting fantasy overwhelm reality (a la Sheldon in The Big Bang theory), but so long as they are not hurting anyone or themselves by pursuing their hobbies, they deserve the right to be themselves without fear of getting bullied or persecuted by society. In achieving that balance, I guess the key would be to surround themselves with the right type of people — family members and friends who understand you and tell them when they’re going too far, not those who would only accept them if they completely change themselves.

Being a geek is fun. And it is also an admirable, if not entertaining trait. So embrace your inner geek. It’s as part of you as the rest of your personality.

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