Just about a decade ago, being ‘nerdy’ or considered a ‘geek’, would have most likely landed you in a number of horrible situations and guaranteed you a spot in the most unpopular group at school – but things are changing rapidly. In a year’s time the term ‘geek’ could very well be associated with ‘cool’ or ‘geek chic’ as we like to call it. The image of ‘a nerd’ that has thick glasses, hides behind a book and generally wants to be left alone might soon be one of always having the latest gadgets, being admired by peers and off to make millions.
The Big Bang Theory is one of the examples that has claimed worldwide success for the ability to make science interesting and fun in its own unique way. With 17.4 million viewers in the US it has just reached its series high and over in the UK, it has just been named E4’s most watched series of the year – not bad for a series that follows four socially awkward scientists. It doesn’t stop there, according to a recent survey by Hotels.com, over a third of children (35%) are now looking to study IT and/or science at University, with IT being named in 8-15 year olds’ top four favourite subjects at school.
With the emergence of high-profile ‘geeks’ such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, the perception has started to shift and even adults now regret not having made the jump into technology, as over 1 in 4 adults wish they had pursued a career in the field with ‘money’, ‘intellectual change’ and ‘more job opportunities’ being the top three reasons.
In fact campaigners in Sweden called ‘The Nerd Appeal’ have been looking to change the dictionary definition of ‘nerd’ and ‘geek’ to someone being described as ‘a person with a strong interest as opposed to someone who’s laughable’. This might not be a lost battle as our kids are growing up with technology as if it’s second nature and many 15 year olds are more skilled in developing a ‘cool’ application that could be the next Instagramsensation than trained adults. Being good at technology has become much more about vision and creativity than just being good at C++ or Java and already has enormous appeal. Whether the connotations will or won’t change in years to come remains to be seen, but the way we see it, there’s no doubt that being a little obsessed with the latest gadgets and apps is now geek chic.