September 1, 2013

A Geek’s Guide for Surviving Conformity. ~ Sarah AbdulRazak

“High and fine literature is like wine. But mine is only water. Everybody likes water.”

~ Mark Twain

Mark Twain really got it right this time; his verse serves the geek well on his journey. The last decade has seen geeks move from a small niche to a mass audience they are now pledged to the mainstream.

‘Geek’ is an often overlooked label. Divergent patterns of thought are the epitome of the geek, so as the rise of the geek continues, it is indeed ironic to see how society views variety as a shortcoming and conformity as normal.

Contrary to public thought, that which conforms either lacks an identity or hides it to fit into the norm—conformity is just mediocre in quality.

I take all this as a lack of faith in difference. What is different is typically worthy of having been changed in the first place, and compassionate in thought and action.

This vision should turn into society’s mission: the geek that slaves away under his thoughts to invent is the very geek who is contributing to society. He may not be the life of the party, or he may be just another kid, but he becomes the harbinger and instigator of progress. Go back to your history books or browse through your country archives and try to prove such geeky assumptions untrue.

When I was a child, I watched my elder brother play Monopoly and video games with his friends. Personally, I never went beyond Super Mario, and with a distaste for the capital offered by Monopoly, opted for more enriching pursuits.

The Crystal Maze, reruns of ABC Family shows focused on teen social issues and browsing through the dusty chapters of the encyclopedia—a book heavier than my own body weight—piqued my interest beyond words.

I was a bookworm with a keen interest in social change. Trouble was, I lived in the heart of an industrial capital city where material pleasures came above all else.

Being a ‘geek’ with uncommon interests relegated me away, to the global space.

Now I can call this space home—I am lucky to be a millennial kid and digitally tuned into my world. Although not tech savvy, I do love social media and what it provides. My special interests may be outside the so-called tech world, but at least I can share it through a new geeky medium at no cost or foul: the internet!

Investing in imagination is something that the real world continues to take for granted. The emergence of the digital native shows us who the new cool kids are: the change-makers, creatives and the ones who never were part of the larger tradition of life, the norms and trends. Luckily, geek has become a trend, a part of what scholars term ‘high culture.’

The popular crowd, jocks and others aspire to accomplish geeky pursuits, yet such pursuits remain demons in their closets. Being a geek requires diligence as abstract as the data relayed in standardized textbooks. Their consumerism would need to take a backseat.

Are they ready to give up their practice or is the world ready for geeky consumers?

The answer: yes.

Geeks bring solutions, but they also bring less mental and physical waste. Can you live without drama and sleep on educational TV programming? Can you set your heart on conscious living and working away into the late hours of the night instead of looking in the mirror and deciding what to wear to that next great ball?

In geek world, it’s either/or at your service. Being geek conscious is all about keeping a balance between good lifestyle habits and mental conditioning. You can’t go all anorexic with your vogue diet while seeing stars on that next great manuscript or with the next great invention tucked under your sleeves.

Strolling through the farmer’s market, focusing on one’s ultimate passion and simultaneously delving into intellectual conversations is one of many adventures pursued in geekdom.

Geeks are the new ‘chic’ members of popular culture, from their bookish treats to their consumer tastes. You’ll either find a geek in a library, comic convention or next door café, lounging away and breaking open ideas on laptops.

Geeks are cutting edge in what they produce and narrate to the outside world. They trend and others follow. The big names on planet earth started out as geeks once upon a time, and conscious capitalism is widely practiced by geeks.

This is one of many brief letters announcing how geeks are here to stay and how.

Geeks continue to make a difference in their own and other’s lives. If you are an emerging geek, count your blessings, join forces and never take yourself for granted. Your tool is your most precious gift. Use it. Advocate for it. Embrace it. After all, haven’t you heard that geeks are the new ‘cool’?

In every Wiki page.

In every trending Twitter feed.

In every soul and breath of this cultural movement.

The mind is wired to inquire, invent, distribute and influence



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Assistant Ed: Katharine Spano/Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo courtesy of Shutterstock}

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