Why Geek is the New Cool
Not too long ago, geeks, or in better terms, the intellectual computer and technology enthusiast, are pretty much undesirable people among their peers. You see them with their trademark large black-rimmed spectacles with their unmistakable awkward dressings. It is no surprise that they appear weird to most people, since they spend most of their time in front of their favorite computer screen and barely any time socializing.
(Image Source: greatdiane)
Then all of a sudden, geeks become cool. They are now admired by their peers for their superior intellectuality despite their perceived lack of sociability. Now we see the rise of ‘geek chic’ as celebrities like Justin Timberlake donned geeky fashion clothing and the inseparable geeky specs. Geeks like Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Steve Jobs are now immensely rich, famous, and most importantly, worshiped by everyone else for their innovations.
The world starts embracing the geek culture. Video games are more popular than ever, and discussions about how to beat the bosses in these games are no longer taboo. Technology like iPhone, Facebook and Xbox 360’s Kinect become the most talked about topic in social circles. All of us await eagerly on the next technological innovation to be out and be the first to play on it.
Wow. So, what actually happened in a span of simply a few decades?
Internet: Savior of the Geeks
If water is what gives Earth life, then Internet must be what keeps the information age alive. The widespread of knowledge through Internet means that everyone has access to information never before available at such convenience. Those who do not use the internet get cuts off from the rest of the world. And guess who lay the path for how the internet develops? Geeks.
Possessing first-hand knowledge on how technology and computer works gave geeks a head-start when internet first surfaced. They were the pioneers when it comes to adapting to new innovations, given that their passion and capabilities spur them to quickly learn whatever that came out on the technological market.
If you take a look at how the internet develops from day one, you would be amazed at how it came to become what it is today. From e-mails to chat messenger, from Web 1.0 to 2.0, from forums to social networking sites; the possibilities are limitless. When geeks were in such an influential position on setting what will become of one of the world’s greatest inventions, they became powerful people.
Today, as we anticipate how the future of the internet or any other technology will be charted out, everything is pretty much under the discretion of these so-called geeks. They have the ability to create innovations that could revolutionize the world, just as how the Microsoft Windows operating system had monopolized and change the way people perceive computer system to be.
What can be cooler than being that geek who has such authority and expertise to shape the world?
Geeks Against the World
In some ways, geeks are rebels against the world. We see it in Shawn Fanning, founder of the infamous Napster, protesting against the music industry for charging for music, and open-source software Linux warring against giant Microsoft. Then we have ethical hackers, or white hats, striving to expose loopholes in computer systems in the hope to improve security for the society as a whole.
(Image Source: Microsoft)
Even on a personal level, these geeks are considered non-conformist. They may not seem smart to people who base intelligence on educational qualifications, but no one can deny their achievements. Both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college (not just any college, but Harvard University). Instead of following the conventional and conservative path of getting degrees, they both followed their heart and still become successful in their fields.
It’s an admirable feat to go against social norms and establishments to stand up for your passion and values. Another thing about that is it makes you stand out from the rest like a sore thumb, whether in ways good or bad. But in any case, being cool is about being noticed first. It’s the same reason why bad asses are deemed cool; they get all the attention simply for doing something different.
The Currency of the Information Age
In a world run by computers and networks, the person who exhibits proficiency in such systems wields a significant amount of control over the world. Movie portrays hackers as being able to do wonders and bring the world to its knees, be it for the better or for worse. Ultimately, it boils down to one theme: knowledge is power.
(Image Source: Google)
The more you know about how something works, the better you will utilize it. If you know how the world works, wouldn’t you have an edge over everyone else? This is how it is with geeks. The world today is technology-saturated, and they are the technology and computer enthusiast who can understand and use it best.
The more the world is moving towards a dependence on information, the more revered these geeks are relied upon to deliver the knowledge. So you see, the geeks hold an important status in our society because we would eventually be unable to function without their guidance.
Any more doubts that geeks are the new cool? Not anymore.
Join The Kingdom of Geek
You don’t need to understand either C, C++, C# or Objective-C to become a geek, here are some quality posts aiding you to understand and become a geek, at least from the perspective of physical belongings.
Author: Michael Poh
Michael is a freelance blogger and regular contributor for Hongkiat.com. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a double major in Psychology and Communications & New Media in 2011.He believes in the power of the written word to influence and inspire. An enthusiastic video gamer, Michael is also actively engaged in various physical activities in his spare time.