The New Levels of Geekdom (& Taylor Swift?)
As far as I can remember, there have always been those who have been considered "geeks." Sure, you may have categorized these people appropriately, given their interests (be it computers, math, band, etc.) But it's my personal opinion that these categories have seem to become a little bit more awesome and much less offensive in recent years (maybe it's because the smart kids end up running the world? Or founding awesome entrepreneurial startups?)
Sure, my life sometimes reads like a great taylor swift song when it comes to my geek-level in earlier years (confession: i was guaranteed to always have a book in hand... no kindles or affordable macbook pro yet but at least i have a podcast).
Believe it or not, significant research has been done not only on geek vs. nerd word usage- and if one is cooler than the other in today's society.
According to Lori Kendall, a Professor at U of I, "The valence of the word 'geek' has really changed over the years. People talk about 'geeking out,' which indicates a very intense focus on an interest, and sometimes it's an interest that not a lot of people share. It tends to indicate expertise and passion about something.
" 'Nerd' is a stickier term that is applied to people in a more negative way. 'Geek' is something you can do and then leave behind, but 'nerd' is what you are."
There is a distinct difference between Geek 1.0 (old school) and Geek 2.0, in the technology sense, as explained per this lovely graphic that had quite a few diggs... But, in my opinion, geek can truly be chic, and what the real clincher here is... just HAVING technology is different than understanding it (and the latter is pretty cool, IMO).