Self-proclaimed geeks. Stop it

People, please stop with proclaiming yourselves to be “geeks” and “nerds”. You know who you are.

…no you are not

Self-proclamation to a sub-culture is never really a good idea. If you self-deprecatingly declare yourself a geek or nerd, chances are you aren’t one.

To be honest geek/nerdism isn’t even a sub-culture anymore. I hear people every day describe themselves as geeks as some sort of badge of honour.

It makes me cringe and every time you say it a fairy dies (probably).

It’s all completely self-defeating. I always thought (and web definitions seem to agree) of geeks as those with an eccentric devotion to an interest slightly outside of the mainstream. Well, computers are no longer outside of the mainstream, nor video games, Android is ubiquitous across hundreds of millions of people and the only person on this planet who’s not seen Star Wars is my wife. Having an interest in any of these things just makes you like the rest of us. You are normal and have a healthy interest in popular culture. Well done.

Nerds are harder to de-tangle. Heck, Google still defines a nerd as 1) A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious and 2) An intelligent, single-minded expert in a particular technical discipline or profession.

If you are the first, then I doubt you’ll buy a t-shirt to identify yourself and if you are the latter you are proclaiming yourself to be more intelligent than I. Either way, we won’t get on.

I have nothing against “true” nerds and geeks. But the other 99% of you are simply “Enthusiasts”; because anyone that self-deprecatingly labels themselves as socially dysfunctional probably isn’t.  But I suppose calling industry meet-ups “Mobile “Enthusiasts” of London”  doesn’t have the same cool factor.

Please just stop it.

I think this great comedy sketch from Portlandia explains the problem better than I ever could.


2 thoughts on “Self-proclaimed geeks. Stop it

  1. It’s a strange one – I believe there is a gulf of difference between a Nerd and a Geek, and would consider myself a Geek. A lot of this kind of bile, though, comes from a subculture of American kids wearing a T-shirt saying geek then proclaiming themselves one. In truth, though, it’s just hipsters – disaffected kids who change their style and trend as often as they change their clothes (which in teenage kids, probably is about once a fortnight).

    I kinda feel sorry for those guys – it’s like they are trying on a hat for a week to see if it fits, and Geek culture dictates they get fed to the wolves. Which in it’s own way is a shame – gamers/eclectic music lovers/Star Wars fans/Trekkers/etc.etc. are always the first to complain of a lack of “stuff” to enjoy, yet don;t see the need to grow the fanbase of somethign to get said “stuff”.
    Strangely, though, I can;t help but feel that this could well be another example of something which we all know of but doesn’t exist – I can’t say I have actually met a self proclaimed geek who didn’t have a decent knowledge of their subject…
    Enthusiast, Geek, whatever – it’s just today’s terminology. It’s borne out of those who were bullied for being different now having a common bond through which to identify. Which reminds me, did you want to try a game of Warhammer in the office next week? I can lend you a platoon…

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