The term geek has traditionally been one that is used in a nearly derogatory manner towards those that value intellectual stimulation and studying deep into various fields such as science, technology, and art. Geeks have always been absorbed into learning as much as they can about their interests and surroundings, sometimes putting themselves at the risk of foregoing social norms. This can make geeks appear strange to much of society, often making them the target of mockery and even ridicule.
However, in the last few years, the term “geek” as well as the people that proudly call themselves geeks have enjoyed a surge in popularity and social acceptance. More than ever, intelligence is valued over traditional forms of popularity, especially in adolescents. For instance, it is just as common to see geeks interacting with members of the opposite sex as sports jocks today, whereas just a few years ago they were a much more isolated group.
This rise in popularity of geeks can be attributed to a few causes. The first, and perhaps most relevant, is the rise in popularity of the World Wide Web. The Web has caused the average person to have less of a fear concerning computers and technology then they did just a few years ago. This has, in turn, allowed the average person to become more familiar with the world in which technologically-adept geeks thrive. Since many IT professionals that work in the corporate environment are self-proclaimed geeks, their abundance in numbers has shifted the perception of geeks from that of non-conforming outsiders to that of any other person with acceptable idiosyncrasies.
Another contribution to the popularity of geeks is the fashion world’s acceptance and promotion of “geek chic.” More than ever before, fashion designers are spinning the traditional look of what the common perception of how a geek dresses into designs that are just as at home on the runway as they are in a computer lab. Additionally, the popularity of portable devices such as mp3 players, laptop computers, and mobile phones has caused fashion designers to accessorize these otherwise geeky tools into their ensembles.
The more that our society becomes reliant on technology and science, the higher percentage of geeks there will be among the population. Geeks’ devotion to learning, knowledge, and academia has always ensured that many of them enjoy higher stations in life as a result of their accomplishments. Now, more than ever, is a great time to enjoy being known as a geek.