Today I was thinking. I know, weird huh. But I had a “hmm…makes you think ….” moment. I was wondering about the changing face of geekdom. Since my next novel is focussing on geeks as the main characters I've had a lot of opportunity to ponder. I may be about to age myself here, but when I was younger being a geek was so NOT cool. Now geeks are on the rise – ha sounds like a movie of the week “The Rise of the Geek” but I digress.
Since Bill Gates made it oh so obvious that being a geek can earn millions, many more people have been flocking the banner. My husband and I have always been geeks, gamers, nerds whatever. We game every week and have for too many years to count. I had a lady in the store tell me that she thinks “it’s so cute that you’re such a geek.” Which made me wonder about the geekiness of today. Todays nerds don’t wear pocket protectors and knee high socks but rather suits or off colour t-shirts.
Think about how things have changed even in how movies portray geeks from the early eighties to now. In 1984, revenge of the nerds came out and you had those geeks to 2010 when the social network comes out. Look at the difference!
Being a geek today is nowhere near the social stigma it was 20 – 10 – hell even 5 years ago. Even the use of the word geek has changed. It used to be that being called a “geek” or “nerd” was synonymous with “loser” Now not so much – it’s a descriptive adjective that is almost as common as “tall” or “short” and not usually intended as demeaning.
It’s becoming apparent that the world is technological, more and more students are going into computer type programs rather than for sports. When I was in school, all the cool kids were on sports teams or going to work in the trades (making them well muscled and therefore so nice to look at) Now it seems like there’s a shift in the scales that balance cool or not. Add to the fact that the nerds of today are nowhere near as nerdy as those in revenge of the nerds, but they are off-colour and different.
I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. Today it seems like we as a society on the whole are more accepting of the differences that are innate in everyone. More open to the possibility that there is more than one way to be cool. Our societal eyes have been opened to the fact that we don’t want to be cookie cutters. All the same. BORING! Bring on the different, the unusual, the strange even sometimes the disturbing. I believe in my heart of hearts that if society continues on this trend of acceptance soon we will all have a great place to live.