Labels are lame. We get caught up over what label applies to what or who, and end up missing the person, the main point.
I’m not going to sit here and spell out the differences as it applies to everyone, because the internet has been debating the issue of Geek vs Nerd for a long time already.
BUT I spent the long weekend at Arisia, a local SciFi/Fantasy convention and the last panel I went to on Monday was “Letting Your Geek Flag Fly” all about being “out” in the real world as a geek.
I realized that in high school I pretty much was a Nerd. School was top priority and while I had a few after school activities I never did any after school sports. Instead I’d hang out in the library and try to knock off a subject of homework before it closed at 4. (If you had to lug those heavy textbooks home every day, you’d do the same!)
Things started to shift when I was in college and two things happened: I joined Twitter, and discovered Star Trek Voyager on youtube. (Star Trek TNG had been part of my early childhood, but I hadn’t watched Voyager.) I fell head first into the fandom thanks to an online message board, and even tried my hand at writing some fanfiction.
You could say I was hooked, in more ways than one. I decided to get a blog on wordpress and then tumblr as well. It was on Tumblr that I discovered Doctor Who and very quickly became obsessed all over. I met people through twitter and tumblr who share the same interests as me. I was able to “come out” as a geek. And it wasn’t a huge shift in my identity at all, I was just finally embracing what was inside of me all along. The only thing that changed were the posters I put up in my dorm room every September.
Geek is mainstream now. Huffington Post reports on Doctor Who. The Nerdist has a TV show on BBC America. Fantasy football unites the jocks and the numbers geeks.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the label itself doesn’t matter as much anymore – because so many other people are a geek in some shape or form. Social Media has connected us in more ways than we could fathom and everyone’s geek is showing.
What do you think?