How did Stella get her geekiness back?
May 17, 2010 1:35 PM   Subscribe

How can I stop being so self-conscious about my geekiness?

I'm ashamed of my geekiness.

When I was younger, I was a geek about video games, RPGs, anime, and comics. In middle school, I was obvious about my love for Japanese pop culture. In high school, I got a job reviewing anime and manga and went to a few conventions with a press pass.

I cosplayed, ordered fansubs, and entered DDR competitions. I read the Star Wars extended universe at camp.

In college, something changed. I became ashamed of being a geek. Google searches loosely connect me to my geeky pursuits, and my stomach goes in knots at the idea of people finding out.

I haven't been to a con in years. I become shame-faced when I'm caught in the graphic novel aisle at the bookstore. I don't want to admit my love of games or movies or comics. When the topic comes up, I shut my mouth even when I could contribute to the conversation.

I don't want to be like this. A friend played Mario for the first time, and I didn't even respond. Another friend is geeking out over anime, and I'm mute.

It's not that I'm not interested. I still game and read the occasional manga. But I just can't seem to get over my embarrassment.

I've never been bullied or called "weird" for being a geek. I've been fortunate to have been surrounded by pro-geek people. That's why this new embarrassment is so frustrating.

Am I stuck having this be a secret part of my life? Is this just what "being an adult" is about? Can I get my geekiness back?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (32 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Just keep both sides of yourself in check. Be geek in your free time, but give slack to people who don't like it.

Imagine yourself as liking to die your hair in pink. There are circles where people love it, others where you should keep a scarf on your head. Both are fine and you keep enough space to "be yourself".
posted by knz at 1:37 PM on May 17, 2010

I agree with knz. I think our sense of self comes, in part, from our communities. Surround yourself with people who dig your idiosyncrasies and you might find yourself feeling better about them.

If it helps any, I read a while ago a book about eccentricities that made a pretty good case that the honestly eccentric are generally happier than the rest of humanity. My theory is that we're all freaks. Some of us try to suppress it, which leads to unhappiness. Some of us try to indulge it, which can also be a bit over the top. And some of us just try to enjoy it in a healthy way.

If you can manage that, you'll probably be okay.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:49 PM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

In high school, I got a job reviewing anime and manga and went to a few conventions with a press pass.

That is actually really freaking cool, and I bet most people would agree with me.

Most of my favorite people were total geeks in high school (whether they were anime/sci-fi geeks, theater geeks, really into metal, obsessed with horses, whatever) and are now able to look back on those years fondly and with a sense of humor. I'm totally capable of functioning normally in society now, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't spend a good chunk of my teenage years obsessively reading X-Files fanfiction. Actually, you were way cooler than me in high school-- you channeled your geekier interests into a way to develop your writing and networking skills, and I just stared at my computer in the dark.

Anyway, you can be whoever you want to be. If you want to shed your geeky past, that's up to you-- but I bet you'd be surprised by how many people find it great.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:49 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

"Google searches loosely connect me to my geeky pursuits, and my stomach goes in knots at the idea of people finding out."

True story: I googled a guy before our first date while in law school, lo these 10 years ago, and the first result that popped up was a D&D club webpage and I went, "oh, phew, he's a geek ... he's probably going to be smart and not drunk all the time." Two years later, I married him.

I'm going to hazard a guess based on your comments about "being an adult" and so forth that perhaps your parents told you these were childish pursuits you would outgrow? And maybe now you feel like now that you're an adult, you should quit or hide those things. But "things adults do" has changed -- as it ALWAYS does as technology and entertainment changes -- and as long as you're a functioning member of society, what does it hurt to be a geek? Which requires me to reference this xkcd.

Most interesting people in the world are geeks about something. Not necessarily traditionally geeky pursuits, but some passion they pursue with an enthusiasm that makes them run the risk of boring outsiders with far too much detail. This is an endearing quality that makes you interesting to others (as long as you don't go into far too much detail). Wynton Marsalis said, "Invest yourself in everything you do. There's fun in being serious." Geek on, man. Geek on!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:53 PM on May 17, 2010 [13 favorites]

You know all those people you think aren't geeky? Well, they play fantasy football. They know every single part of their car engine and how it works. They have encyclopedic knowledge of fly fishing lures. Except we don't call them "geeky," we call them "passionate." It just so happens that your passions coincide with, well, geeky stuff. And you know what? No one cares about that fact. What do people care about? Your ability to contribute to a conversation. Your interesting stories and experiences.

You still have your geekiness. You're just keeping it under wraps for no good reason at all, especially when you are surrounded by "pro-geek" people. Except you're not. You're surrounded by people who don't make prejudicial judgments about someone based on their taste. That's all.

So open your mouth when someone says they saw an episode of Robotech and want to see more. You'll be exposing someone to something they will enjoy and they will like you all the more for it. Get into arguments over whether graphic novels are literature or not. You might not convince the other person, but you will show them that you're a great person to have a debate with.
posted by griphus at 1:55 PM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

Keep in mind that geek is the new cool. If you weren't a geek, you'd have to work hard to become one. But you're a natural, so just be yourself and you'll be in both the geek and the cool sides at the same time.

There's never been a better time to be a geek; enjoy it!
posted by dcrocha at 1:55 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Buy yourself a super geeky shirt. Wear it in public. If anyone comments, grin and shrug, or possibly just smile mysteriously and wink. It will show you that the only people who care about your hobbies are people who share them or deeply damaged people whose opinion you can safely discount.

(Mine says "If you can read this, I'm not in stealth mode." I wear it out all the time.)
posted by restless_nomad at 1:55 PM on May 17, 2010

I wonder if something clicked in your head in college that made you think "now is the time to put away childish things," and you lumped your geek interests in that category.

If so, it's interesting that it happened in college, because (in my experience) that's when your peers start becoming less judgmental based on superficialities (like whether you have geek interests) and more based on your worth as a person.

Being adult is about being responsible for your own life. It has nothing to do with having geeky interests. If you've got the personal-responsibility thing down, you're ahead of the curve.

So I say let your geek flag fly. Some people will judge you harshly. These are not people you want as your friends anyhow.
posted by adamrice at 1:56 PM on May 17, 2010

Make peace with your geeky side and just be yourself. Once I did that, I became a much more content person.
posted by chiefthe at 1:58 PM on May 17, 2010

I was joking with some friends recently about how important it is for geeks to learn to "pass" in "normal" society. We can dress like your average football-watching cube dweller, keep regular, acceptable books on our shelves, and talk about the silly reality shows and whatever else people are watching -- it's useful to make yourself part of the mainstream. But every single one of us, given any encouragement at all, immediately drops into geekspeak, whether it's Star Wars, science projects we had as kids, anime, etc, and generally people are surprised/amused when they find out about our secret identities as total nerds.

Contrast this to people who dress like every day is Ren Faire day or someone who can't talk without dropping quotes from Star Trek. When it's nonstop, it starts to define you, and that can weird some people out. When it's a surprise, it becomes an interesting part of you that people will remember in a good way.

I always think of this girl I went to college with -- this absolutely gorgeous Russian girl who turned heads, male and female, everywhere she went, dressed fabulously, went clubbing every weekend, etc etc etc... and had the largest collection of comic books of anyone on our engineering campus. It was "cool" for her to have her little "secret" -- but the perception would have been totally different if she was known simply as a comic book nerd.

Moral of the story: play the game and blend in, but feel free to let your geek out when you're given the opportunity. It'll be unexpected, and not weird but interesting.
posted by olinerd at 2:01 PM on May 17, 2010

This is a pure guess. Could it be that you, more than most people, are worried about being defined by your geekiness rather than just associated with it? You were so into it when you were younger - maybe you're worried it will be the only thing people think of with respect to you, that it will become your entire identity. In which case (assuming you don't personally consider it your whole identity) the solution is to help people get to know the full range of your personality, not just the geeky or non-geeky parts.
posted by egg drop at 2:02 PM on May 17, 2010

A former roommate who worked for years to make his life based on geekdom - becoming an illustrator for gaming, SF, & Fantasy books - went through something similar. He'd had a job in the gaming industry, he ran an awesome RPG campaign that many people enjoyed, and he dated someone who shared, and enjoyed, his interests.

When the relationship ended for other reasons, he became very unhappy with himself, and his self image. That geekdom became a mark of shame for him, and it began to project outwards. When he asked me to remove all my gaming material from the living room and put it in my room so it wouldn't embarrass him and any potential dates he might have (despite the fact he had just as much material of his own), I realized how unhappy he was with himself. I moved out shortly thereafter. He's since gotten back into gaming, and is much, much happier again.

There is nothing wrong with being a geek. I met my girlfriend through LARPing, we still go to games and cons together - neither of us would be happy with a Non-Geek. My father played D&D up until his death from cancer at age 69 - he was a well-respected chemical engineer, and a manager, but still a "geek." Heck, the CEO of my firm hired a developer after meeting him in an MMO.

I do admit I don't like the stereotype that society applies to geeks - I cringe when I see the Big Bang Theory on TV, maybe because it hits a bit too close to home while being over-the-top as well. Still, I am not going to stop reading comics because of Sheldon.

I think that trying to be something you are not will only make you unhappy in the long run, especially if you force yourself into a situation where you become "trapped" and will suffer if you let it out. As long as it's balanced with healthy habits and does not become an unhealthy obsession, you may find it's actually good to exercise your intellect.
posted by GJSchaller at 2:15 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm trying to figure out the roots of your shame here. Geekiness isn't discouraged by your environment, you enjoy the things you do-- what do you believe will happen if people find out you're a geek? Or, more pragmatically, what's the worst thing that will happen if you go back to being a freelance journalist specializing in Japanese pop culture?

That's what you were doing-- being geeky was just the layer underneath the journalism. That's a respectable profession, especially if you were adapting to the changing face of reporting all the way back in high school and taking your game online. I invite you to look at Jamais Cascio's career trajectory as summarized in his LinkedIn profile-- this guy has a big audience, a lot of speaking gigs, a TED talk to his name.

Note that bit towards the bottom:

Texas game company Steve Jackson Games commissioned two "future history" resource books for their series on life in the year 2100, Transhuman Space: Broken Dreams (pub. 2003) and Transhuman Space: Toxic Memes (pub. 2004).

...yup, that's right, he was writing roleplaying game sourcebooks. Before any of this "hey, come be our talking head" stuff started, this guy was a hardcore geek. He still is, but he's learned the trick of applying his personal obsessions to the larger landscape and making them palatable to the masses.

Other folks whose obsessions might inspire you similarly: Wil Wheaton, comics author Matt Fraction, MeFi's own Adam Savage, journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, William Gibson, television writer and producer Jane Espenson, Guild actress and writer Felicia Day.

There's something to be said for not liking "geek" culture-- there's a segment that's obsessed with toys and status over substantial ideas and progress. There's a lot of weird sexism on all sides of the equation ("how to land a geek girl/ guy" articles make me crazy). There are social fallacies galore. It's easy to err on the fine line between "professional obsessive" and "mouth-breathing fangirl."

But if it's what you are at the core, you may as well work at making it work for you instead of trying to hide it. I started reading SF at a very young age, got my D&D box set at 8, started my serious comic collection at 10. It took me a long time to nail down a direction, but now I blog about comics and work in professional VFX-- where I'm my officemates' resident resource for "who the hell IS this guy in this shot? Do you know what's going on here?" Being the encyclopedia got me dissed for years until I learned to use it to my advantage by finding a niche where knowing all this stuff is actively useful to larger goals.

I ramble. But, really, you are doing something useful and productive when you share your obsessions with others. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Run with it.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:17 PM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]

I only date geeks, FWIW. You must be a geek, dork, or complete nerd in some regard in order for me to think you're interesting. Of course, it's always nice to know people with diverse interests, but in my circle of friends folks are appreciated and valued most for their particular...attributes (+1 punning). The only time a person is ostracized is when he or she can't appreciate what's Geek in others. College can be a bit like high school sometimes. Diversify your interests, but never forget which side of the Geek Tracks you came from.
posted by madred at 2:28 PM on May 17, 2010

I think I know why you're conflicted. You're conflating the actual geeky pursuits with the awkward junior-high social and emotional immaturity that you happened to be going through while you were also first picking up these hobbies. You see a re-run of a memorable episode of TNG and can't quite remember the sharp gee whiz awesomeness of how it made you once sigh and dream about space travel, but you do painfully remember how you were a dorky socially-blind fifteen-year-old who first watched that episode and gushed about it to her friends, and you feel the embarrassment twinge creep up on you.

I've been there. I think it may also be related to the fact that we're geek girls, and at some point in our twenties we belatedly mature enough to really notice how socially clueless and graceless we once were, to pick up on all the undercurrents we used to not see -- but we haven't quite matured enough to be able to just accept that, or better yet laugh about it.

You'll get more comfortable with yourself as you get older, which will help, but hopefully in the meantime you can try to separate the wonder and fun of geeky pursuits from the occasional cringe-factor. I deal with this too. For example, will I ever really forgive myself for thinking sixth grade playdates were a good time to work on the BASIC programming examples in the back of my "3-2-1 Contact" magazine, because duh, why wouldn't my sixth grade female friends find that really fun too? *facepalm* But on the other hand, I did wind up programming for a living, and I try to remind myself that as things go, I could have been a bad friend in some other cruel way, as opposed to a merely benignly clueless way. So really, it's okay, I can move on and laugh about my dorkiness, instead of crawling under a rock about it. You can too.

Also, it's really really fun to be able to pass for a "mundane" with people you meet later in life, but then one day randomly break out the hardcore comic nerd knowledge and lay the smackdown on some guy who's talking about Chris Claremont era X-Men characters and then he's like whoaaaaa but is also really excited to have a girl to talk to about that stuff.

In fact, the most common comment you'll get when you break out the geek kung-fu -- as an older less-obviously-geeky chick -- is that usually the guy you're talking to (and it's almost always a guy) will at some point look wistful and say something like "why don't more girls like so-and-so?" And the answer is, oh we do, or at least many of us once did. But alas, some of us forgot the wonder, or let expectations of "appropriate female social behavior" change us. We became ashamed, and hid our geeky light under bushels.

Basically, you need to own your geekiness.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:31 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

If the geeky pursuits used to make you happy, and presumably still would if you would let yourself pursue them, then you're essentially denying yourself happiness. Why?

Do what you love and to hell with what anyone else thinks.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:43 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Keep in mind that geek is the new cool.

Is it possible you are ashamed of your geekiness now because it is in vogue? Maybe you're afraid that if you let your geeky side out now it will seem as if you have jumped on the popular bandwagon.

If a big part of your identity was based on feeling weird and different it can be really uncomfortable to find yourself suddenly trendy, especially when you notice how many people are faking it and how annoying that is. Maybe you're unconciously turned off by the association with with all the posers.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:44 PM on May 17, 2010

Surrounding yourself with the nerds helps a lot. I have friends who can talk about the merits of Star Trek across all the series, friends who have read more books in the Star Wars EU than I ever will, friends that are WAY into comics (and in one case, baseball), friends who can sit and talk about our silly talking animal characters for hours at a time while they RP. If you like it, do it.

Part of this is figuring out how not to care what other people think. It really is one of the harder things to do in life, and I still don't have it quite down. But as has been said upthread, everyone is a nerd about something, whether it's football (American or otherwise), wine, cigars, cars, guitars, and if they can make fun of you (and if they do, and you feel it's mean, they are not your friend. If it's nice, light hearted, see the next part of this sentence, already in progress), then you can make fun of them. We have our nerd jargon, so do they.

And yeah, Wil Wheaton is really great about this. The man lives the nerd dream.

tl;dr Do it. Geek out, and embrace those who are left, because they probably have already embraced you.
posted by gc at 3:09 PM on May 17, 2010

I was in a Boston area scifi store last week to buy Magic cards. Ahead of me in line was a trio of young geek stereotypes - greasy hair, bad skin, loud argument about which Eldrazi was best, the works. They truly owned their own geekiness, but I could not get out of there fast enough. Call it second-hand embarrassment. Even though I was in the nerdiest store in all of Boston, even though I was buying Magic cards, and even though I had an actual opinion on the matter at hand (It's Ulamog, yo!) - I did not want to be associated with these kids*.

You might be feeling the same thing, maybe based on some people you met back in your more freewheeling geek days. You're keeping your geek on the down-low because you don't want to be confused for these stereotypes. But don't worry - if you are aware of these stereotypes, it's really hard to become them. You can be as normal and as geeky as you like! Just make sure you bathe and can recognize that glazed look people get when they're listening out of politeness**.

* It's a phase. In a few years those guys will likely pass through it to the other side.
** I've had to learn this the hard way. My poor wife.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:12 PM on May 17, 2010

It's cool to be a little embarrassed (although getting a job doing that in high school KICKS ASS).

I think the best way to deal with this kind of embarrassment is to talk about the fact that you're embarrassed because you used to be a geek, and tell a lot of people. Like, pretty soon after meeting them.

For some reason, telling lots of people about it keeps you from thinking WHAT IF THEY KNEW?!!?! and most people will not care, which will also help.

(I am not not was ever a geek but I have a lot of interests that make me really frightened of being rejected or judged for them, so, that's where I'm coming from)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:28 PM on May 17, 2010

The only real distinction between geeks and other people is that geeks obsess over cultural artifacts outside the mainstream and non-geeks obsess over cultural artifacts inside the mainstream. And, let's be frank: the mainstream mostly sucks. Mainstream culture tends to be ad-driven, exploitative, sexist / racist, shallow, underwhelming and addicting to an almost chemical extent. Science fiction engages the essential questions of the human condition. Manga represents the pinnacle of modern drawing, and has this intensely interesting focus on the human form. If you've read Everything Bad is Good for You, you've already learned that interactive entertainment (video games) are by definition more engaging than non-interactive entertainment (mainly TV). I say all of that not really having an interest in any of those things.

You sound like a person who not only liked those things (and maybe still does), but got off your ass and did something about it - got a job in high school that wasn't flipping burgers, got incredibly intelligent about something.

Try this: take every instance of the word "geeky" and replace it in your head with the word "savvy." It totally works.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:12 PM on May 17, 2010

You are a multi-dimensional being and not defined by the social ascriptions of what geekiness means. If you can branch out into other areas/ways of being, you might find you are more comfortable with your unique blend of interests.

For example, I'm a surfer and a linguist and a nerd/geek. This is weird. But when I'm hanging out with my surfer friends, they find it interesting that there's this whole other dimension to my being that involves computers and weird knowledge that they don't understand. My linguist friends are fascinated by my involvement in two worlds that are pretty much diametrically opposed. And the nerd/geek crew are mystified by this water-going existence, as well as the ultra meta nerdview I have on language. I feel like the last narwhal at times, but am also pretty stoked about the funny little trifecta of interests that defines me. Seek out your triangle of weirdness and embrace the balance it brings to your life.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:44 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

FYI: Geeks are cool now.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:04 PM on May 17, 2010

i think going through a period of deep embarrassment about the obsessions of one's adolescence is a totally natural part of growing up.

once i lost interest in almost all things otaku (a combo of changing interests, the fact that the industry started pushing out mostly crap, and surprisingly enough, a stint living in japan) i suddenly became deeply and weirdly ashamed of ever having had those interests. i was deeply, deeply closet former otaku. i feared having any of my "normal" friends find out that i'd been into anime or whatever, or that i had worked for a japanese manga company. i think it's because i associate that time of my life with being so immature and making so many terrible decisions. it was a time of great immaturity in my life so i attached the shame of that immaturity to whatever i was obsessed with, in that time of my life.

like you, i still game and read the occasional manga, but i still feel some tinges of embarrassment. i think only the ease of time and perspective can help get us through the embarrassments we feel for the sillinesses of our younger selves.

that said, i think another thing you're raising here is kind of that lose of passion- i don't feel as passionately or as obsessed with things as i did when i was in otaku mode and i miss that- feeling SO passionate about things. i often wish i could get my unabashed geekery back. i think it's just another part of growing up.
posted by raw sugar at 5:43 PM on May 17, 2010

Mr. ThaBombShelterSmith and myself are both sel-professed, hard-core geeks. We both love Star Wars, Legos, and Marvel comic books. The Mr. also loves D&D, fantasy, sci-fi and papercraft. I wouldn't marry someone who wasn't a complete and utter nerd/geek like myself, and you need to surround yourself with like-minded people.

You are awesome. Be a geek and be proud of it. There are way more of us who are get it than the cube-dwellers guzzling beer on the weeknights.

Also, geeks rule the world. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are proof positive of that. Geek out with your bad self!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:49 PM on May 17, 2010

but give slack to people who don't like it.

No no No! Fuck Those People. You don't need to be afraid of being judged because the only people still judging people for being interested in different stuff are the people who are so insecure they NEED everyone else to support them.

But you know this, c'mon! Do you, perhaps, no longer have any geeky friends? Not talk about your hobbies with anyone? I think there's a lot of truth in the assumption that you've decided that geeky things are 'younger' and thus, as a mature person, you're no longer interested.

So, here's what you do.
1. Add appropriate age context to a geeky activity. For instance, play Star Trek Voyager and drink every time Harry gets a put-down, 7of9's tits are prominantly displayed, Janeway looks at the camera in horror, or they remodulate anything.
2. Join an online game that has a geeky community around it, to get used to socializing with geeks again. I suggest Eve Online, but there are free games also.
3. Get some geeky adult friends. Hang with them. Teach them to battle orcs.
4. Maybe try to figure out if there's anything else you're self-censoring, and fix that too?
posted by Quadlex at 6:03 PM on May 17, 2010

Move to San Francisco. We're all geeks. ;)

Seriously though, most of the stuff you listed is stuff that I either still like, or think is cool. "I don't want to admit my love of games or movies or comics"--that's a lot of stuff, and stuff that a LOT of people like. Too many people for it to be just 'geeky'.
posted by timoni at 6:15 PM on May 17, 2010

[comment removed - folks,can we talk about this without getting all pissed off please?]
posted by jessamyn at 6:17 PM on May 17, 2010

It's not that I'm not interested. I still game and read the occasional manga. But I just can't seem to get over my embarrassment.

Do you want to still do geeky stuff but are too ashamed? Or are you just not as interested and now feel disloyal to something in which you once invested a lot of heart?

It's okay to move on and change interests. [shrug] Part of growing up. (I don't mean that geeky stuff is childish, at all. But if it's more part of your past, that's okay.)
posted by desuetude at 10:22 PM on May 17, 2010

You can game and read the occasional manga without self-identifying as a geek. Maybe your feelings of embarrassment are part of growing up - your younger self is failing to live up to your ideal self - you might not even know what that ideal self is because you're playing with different identities.

Or maybe you went to college, your world got bigger, your critical skills improved, and you realized that a lot of what you used to love just isn't very good, and you can't love it in the same way.

Anyway, I don't feel ashamed when I'm caught in the graphic novel section - I feel ashamed when I'm caught in the graphic novel section with [...], because I know that it is sexist, unfunny, and has ugly art.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:13 AM on May 18, 2010

If you're ashamed, then you're ashamed. I'm not going to try and change your mind, like many commenters here. If that's how you feel, then accept it and own it. Because even though you vehemently claim you don't want to be this way, your actions say otherwise.

I wish I could say what's really at the root of your problem. But I think it's something else - sadness, loneliness - even anger. Emotions that sometimes have a way of surfacing as something else. The geekiness isn't your real problem - the crippling shame is.

If you want to get close to people you have to risk rejection. The thing is, if you truly open up to people, they will not reject you - they will accept you and probably share some of their insecurities and vulnerabilities with you. And I don't just mean owning up to being a geek - you have to admit you're ashamed of it.

I know - it probably sounds like the worst suggestion ever. Trust me - I know. I sat on the news of my broken marriage, only hinting at the fact that I'd moved (from Tacoma to Seattle). It eventually hit the overload point, and I knew I couldn't hide it or deal with it alone I finally started talking about it. I found no one judged me as harshly as I was judging myself.
posted by O9scar at 11:16 PM on May 18, 2010

It's been surprising to me how many grown people I've seen nowadays that mix geekdom and normal mainstream behavior. One moment they're talking about a video game, and the next moment they're laying down some philosophy, but they're quite responsive to their environment and will adjust the geek factor accordingly. One solution is to observe how these people act/blog and pick up cues.

While you say you haven't been bullied for being a geek, I do think you have some image in your mind of people who would disapprove. Think about these people. What are they saying? Do you agree with them or disagree with them? Can you justify your geekness to them?
posted by thefinderkeeper at 10:13 AM on May 20, 2010

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