The Geek Squad
Recently I’ve been feeling a bit techy; not in the gadget techy sense but with regards to working out stuff at work. I’ve come up with answers to questions I didn’t realise I knew and I’m finally beginning to think that all those years of working on site based projects are paying off. Who knew? I don’t need anyone to tell me I’m a geek. Bespectacled and with a tendency to read almost anything put in front of me, I’ve known all along that I’m less the popular cheerleader type and more the awkward kid who sits back and takes in everything, hoping to regurgitate it all someday. And it must show. An ex-colleague once described me as “Geek Chic” which I took as a huge compliment (of course I completely ignored the geek part of his statement) and a friend constantly calls me Encyclopaedia or Google because he doesn’t bother going online to check for stuff. He just rings me up and for some strange reason eight out of ten times I tend to have the answers to his questions (and he’s no dullard). I’m not saying I know everything – far from it, my ignorance is exposed daily in humbling conversations with people much more enlightened than I am – but I think I can officially call myself Little Miss Geek.
We all use the word geek because of its modern-day social associations (think Revenge of the Nerds) but I’ve never tried to find out what being a geek actually mean. Gone are the days when being called a geek was solely an insult. The word has been glamourised and so watered down that we tend to forget the original meaning. Who are geeks and what makes us unique or different? So (surprise, surprise) I’ve done some research on the subject. The definitions of geek, according to thefreedictionary.com, are:
a. A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy.
b. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
c. A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.
I don’t think I can be called foolish, inept or clumsy (although I had a tendency to drop plates in my childhood). And I’m pretty sure I do not participate in shows with bizarre acts (the only chicken heads I’ve eaten met their creator sometime before I ingested them) so that means I have to be B. But I’m not single-minded or accomplished in any one thing and I am certainly not socially inept (does staying in to watch telly instead of going out make me socially inept?). I don’t identify with any of the descriptions and have decided to go with the idea of being a hybrid. I’m a modern-day geek, accomplished in many things and just a teeny-weeny bit of a recluse.
Further research revealed that there are different types of geeks (duh) and that one person can be more than one type of geek. Turns out a cartoonist called Scott Johnson identified 56 types of geeks and these have been represented in a poster which is doing the rounds on everyone’s blog. I’m sure there are many more types but the number I keep finding is 56 because everyone keeps linking to the same site (I wonder if they are 56 because the artist only had space to fit 56 people legibly on his poster). Basically you can be a geek of anything as long as you tend to spend a lot of your time doing that one thing.
I reckon I fall into the geek-of-many-things category. So what type of geek would I say I am?
- Book geek
- Music geek
- TV geek
- Geek chic
- Glee geek
- Musical theatre geek
- BBM geek
- Internet geek
Let’s just pray that one day I don’t turn into a Geek Geek!