Embrace Your Geekiness Day is celebrated every July 13th, giving geeks everywhere the opportunity to take pride in their intellect and individuality. In North America the term geek originally referred to a “freak in circus sideshows” who performed morbid and grotesque acts such as biting the heads off live chickens. Over time the term evolved to describe any person whose work laid outside the norm of social convention, and later as a derogatory slang term for individuals who are preoccupied with intellectual pursuits to the degree that it makes them awkward or inept in common social situations. More recently, the word “geek” has been reclaimed to remove it’s negative connotation, describing instead any individual who has extraordinary technical skills, or is a technology enthusiast. In a rapidly advancing time when people of all ages and backgrounds are using computers and cell phones, calling one’s self a geek is more like a badge of honor. In fact, many successful companies have commandeered the term, like Computer Geeks, ThinkGeek, and Best Buy’s Geek Squad. And with “geek chic” fashion and furnishings growing in popularity, is it possible that “geek” might eventually become even…cool?
When Chris and I first started dating, he told me I needed to update the “About Me” section of my MySpace (MySpace, what’s that?) profile because I’d called myself a “dork” when I really should have called myself a “geek”. I was puzzled. “What’s the difference?” I asked. Chris went onto explain that “dork” has more of a negative connotation, while geeks are actually kind of cool in their own right — at least for being aware of who they are and accepting it, if nothing else. What he said made sense to me, but it all seemed so silly. At any rate, I’m probably a geek and a dork. But I updated my profile anyway. Exploring a little further, I found a quote from Richard Clark, whose explanation of the difference between nerds and geeks spoke to my inner sensibilities: “geeks get it done.”
And in the spirit of getting things done, Chris and I have decided to celebrate Embrace Your Geekiness Day by discussing some of our geekier qualities….