Before being a geek was the ‘it’ thing, we had to conceal our true identities in fear of being made fun of, outcast and pointed at. Things have now changed and we are able to proudly shout that we are geeks. People have gone to great lengths to prove how great we are and have even made attempts to define us as sexy, trendy and generally awesome.
No matter how far back in my life I think about, I have always been a geek. From trying to figure out how to program our VCR when I was 3, to spending hours playing Oil Panic and using my small toolkit to disassemble anything I could get my hands on (from toy car to Walkman). I have to say that I was lucky, my family accepted who I am and never pushed me into sports or anything I wouldn’t enjoy. Instead they signed me up for programming lessons when I was 10, and the rest is history.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
Us geeks used to be a small group of proud individuals that came into this world this way and were never ashamed about it. I don’t know why it happened or even when, but I have always been a geek. I even tried to ”fit in” when I was going through my teenage years, but that failed and left me miserable. The only way I can feel well is by being who I am and that’s a geek. I’m actually lucky that I’m more of a “chameleon” geek, meaning that I can fit into environments when I have to without changing my true identity.
Every geek has his or her own idiosyncrasies but I think that there are some that are universal. We have a certain way of doing things…So, here is my personal list of 10 idiosyncrasies that define me (if you think that something is off or not represented then leave me a comment).
1. To me rules are guidelines
Try to make any geek follow your rules and you have failed from the onset. We take a creative approach to guidelines, meaning that we disregard them and do what we want. This is the core reason why we can create and innovate. We are not afraid to break the mold and stand out from the crowd.
2. I’m on an endless quest of how things work
If I counted the hours I have spent figuring out how things work (from natural to technical and supernatural) then I’m pretty sure I could have another childhood. And I can’t just read about the summary, I need all the details. This is then followed by experimenting and building things to verify the findings.
3. I get stuck on every little question
Imagine this, you’re watching your favorite show and in one scene they talk about whether or not a person in a coma can hear them. Why did they just do that!? I now have to research everything about comas, what happens to the brain, the mind, the body and what people who have been in one experienced.
4. I’m addicted to gadget porn
From unboxing videos to detailed shots by owners, gadget porn is one of my greatest vices. I have a thing for CPUs and camera lenses. There’s something with the design of the former and the glass elements of the latter that make me spend hours watching pictures of them.
5. I do too much research
From finding how things work to buying something, I spend too much time researching. My wife told me the other day “Why don’t we buy a bread-maker?”. Of course this led to finding out how bread-makers work, what characteristics are important, how you can tweak them and finally searching every online store for brands, models and prices.
6. I have extended my memory
Since I consume so much information, I have to store it somewhere. Since I’m known for a bad memory (I try very hard to remember names), I always use the latest tools to store what I find. Be it Evernote, Instapaper, Delicious, bookmarks or my good old file system, everything I find interesting needs to be stored somewhere for future retrieval. If Evernote made a brain implant, I would be the first to try it out. [Read: The Future of Evernote: From memory machine to time machine]
7. I’m a geek and I’m proud
I’ve always been proud of being a geek. Even when people told me “You’re a good guy, you shouldn’t call yourself that”, I pretended not to listen.
8. If my computer can multitask, so can I
I used to think that if my computer can multitask then my almighty brain should have no problem. This meant that my workspace had two computers with at least one screen each, a laptop, a touchscreen and a desk filled of my other gadgets. I have now managed to simplify to one screen and focus on one thing at a time.
9. Who doesn’t like sci-fi?
I mean, really, why wouldn’t you like sci-fi? For me the reason why, is because of what the characters represent. I can relate so much with them: outcast by society, unique and still wanting to give back. The hero’s journey represents the way we want to live and who doesn’t fall for that?
10. I buy way too many gadgets
And by gadgets I don’t mean just the latest smartphone or laptop. Whatever I get into, I need to get gadgets and apps for it. I have lately become a bit of a foodie, which has led to buying all sorts of kitchen gadgets for preparing, cooking and serving food. This just adds to my collection of gadgets for every aspect of my life.
And there you have it, my inner workings spilled out in a 10 point list. If you’re a geek I’m pretty sure you can relate to some if not all of them, if you read it and think “What is this guy is talking about?” then move on, there’s nothing to see here.
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