Back in 2010, Mark Zuckerberg won TIME magazine’s Person of the Year award. It was a moral, and mainstream victory for traditionalist geeks all over the world.
You see, the man who founded Facebook in 2004 whilst studying at Havard had always been different. He wasn’t a jock, and he didn’t want to fit into any clique – he had an idea which stemmed from a deep root knowledge of computing and he stuck to it. He truly is the Geek God of Social Media.
There are many different interpretations of what a geek is, but the one you probably have in your mind is the boy at school with his top button firmly tightened around his neck, and shiny braces in his lisping mouth. Nowadays, being a geek can almost be taken as a compliment. If you are a geek you are knowledgeable of a particular subject which gives you openings in the world that may not have been possible before; and that in turn means the mainstream media and citizens of earth are starting to accept them. Understandably, the society we live in could not survive without geeks. The always-funny Urban Dictionary defines a geek as “somebody you pick on at high school, but end up working for”, which sums it up perfectly; geeks take a lot of stick but laugh loudest in their later years. All you have to do is think of the geekiest people throughout history – Darwin, Einstein, Hawking, Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg and you can spot their importance to how we live today from miles off.
The modern day definition of the word geek is a can of worms really. It can still be used as a derogatory term, meaning foolish or clumsy, but this is becoming increasingly rare. It’s main usage today would be aimed towards experts or enthusiasts of a certain study (whether it be computing, painting, gaming, eating whilst standing on your head..) and is generally received in a positive manner.
Since the rise of tablets, smartphones, phablets & social networking, being a geek has almost become an unconscious thing that most people do without realising it. We are obsessed with checking Facebook & Twitter every ten minutes, even if nothing is happening; it’s almost like those times you open the fridge to reveal that there is nothing in there, but you go back every so often just in case something magical has happened. Everybody has to have the latest phone, tablet, or gadget on the market. The Xbox One is selling like hot cakes in the UK at the moment, while PS4 is turning up in most homes in North America, like a great biblical plague. iPhones, iPads, as well as their Android equivalents, are becoming increasingly fashion accessories, rather than just a practical device to improve your lifestyle.
It is no surprise that the fashion movement geek chic had it’s rise right in the middle of this current climate. People are wearing glasses without working prescription lenses, braces on their trousers without the need to keep them up, and their shirts buttoned up. It is no longer shameful to look this way, and many celebrities follow this style. From your favourite rock star, or boyband member, TV chef, footballer.. they are all going for that look. Geek is becoming increasingly popular, and has become a brand in it’s own right.
One of the biggest misconceptions about dressing in this current trend of geeky fashion is that you will look the same as everyone else. This could not be further from the truth. The greatest thing about the current world we live in is that you can put a spin on anything without being judged. I personally like to mix aspects of the rockabilly subculture of yesteryear with geek. So, a pompadour hairstyle, denim jacket, boots, and cuffed-bottom jeans, but with a twist of a buttoned-up shirt and maybe occasionally 1980s style NHS glasses. If you’re sporty, wear a baseball jacket. If you like headgear, maybe wear a beanie. It’s all open to interpretation, and remember the best part of being a style geek is that you will stand out from the crowd.