Matthew Munson: Celebrate your geekdom

Being a geek IS cool

To be called a geek is intended by some to be a sign of disrespect, but that’s complete nonsense. I get really annoyed when people clearly think that it’s not cool to be a geek; what does being “cool” look like, after all? It shouldn’t matter; everyone’s interpretation of geekdom is different, and who’s to say that being passionate about football (for example) can’t be just as geeky as loving science-fiction or fantasy.

Simon Pegg is a proud geek, and he doesn’t care who knows it. Why should he? He loves science-fiction and fantasy, and so do I. If I want to be a proud Star Trek fan, then so be it; the same goes for Lord of the Rings, trips to Narnia, and frequent forays into the Discworld. Clever, passionate geekdom binds so many people together. As Pegg himself says, “Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”

So, on that note, here are a few suggestions on how to make sure being a geek really does work for you.

Cater your geekdom to your specific interests. There is no such thing as a typical geek. There are geeks of all different interests, from all walks of life. Are you passionate about computers? Brilliant, you’re a computer geek. What about maths, or music, or architecture, or history?

Pick up bits of sci-fi and nerd trivia. Geeks are associated with their in-depth knowledge and passion. Whether you’re talking about video games, films, TV, or books, geeks, dive into the world as deeply as you can and want to.

Rebel against the establishment. Geeks are outsiders by definition. They are more passionate about their interests than what is normally seen as fashionable, and their interests themselves are very nichey. Being a geek, you shouldn’t let yourself embrace certain values simply because you think you’re expected to by society. Part of the fun of being a geek is knowing that you stand apart from the mainstream.

Show confidence as a geek. Above all else, geeks are an attractive bunch because they simply don’t care about what the rest of society makes of them. They love what they love. They are who they are. In order to be a true geek, you need to embrace this mentality. Be confident in who you are, and reflect upon all the things that make you worthwhile.

Accept that geeks are social creatures. If there’s one major difference between geeks and nerds, it’s that geeks like to celebrate their niche-interest passions with like-minded folk. Keep in mind that geeks are social creatures by design and definition. Even if you’re introverted, you can stand to gain a lot by talking to other people and sharing the things that make you tick.

Join web forums. Part of the reason geeks have become so cool is the rise of the internet. Now, no matter how specific and obscure your interests are, you can meet like-minded people at the touch of a button. Joining web forums is invaluable when you want to meet friends locally or from abroad.

Attend conventions. They’re big parties for geeks. Whether the convention is for anime, science fiction, comic books, video games, or computers, attending one of these events is always going to be a memorable experience. Although you’ll only stand to get a lot out of going if you have a vested interest in the subject at hand, they’re a great opportunity to meet people who are into the same kind of stuff you are.

Celebrate your individuality and your geekdom.