It's Chic to Be Geek -- Celebrate National Geek Pride Day on May 25

Whether it's shows like "The Big Bang Theory" or movies like "The Social Network," it's suddenly become chic to be geek in America. The fact that high tech geeks are making a fortune and almost single-handedly bailing us out of the recession isn't hurting their image either.

In any case, on Wednesday, May 25, we have the opportunity to celebrate geeks across America by recognizing National Geek Pride Day. Write some computer code in their honor -- or better yet, take your favorite geek to lunch.

You'll be in good company: A majority (57 percent) of Americans believe that being called a geek is actually a compliment, according to a survey by Modis, an information technology staffing provider.

The survey, conducted in honor of Geek Pride Day by Opinion Research Corporation, supports the fact that there has been a cultural shift in the way Americans perceive geeks. Today, Americans most closely associate the term "geek" with favorable attributes such as being extremely intelligent (45 percent), a reliable source for technology advice (56 percent) and a first adopter of technology (45 percent).

But perhaps one of the most interesting findings that supports this point -- and also puts high school stereotypes to rest -- is that nearly twice as many Americans today would prefer to be called a "geek" (41 percent) rather than a "jock" (22 percent).

With all of these positive attributes associated with geeks, who wouldn't want to be called a geek today? It turns out -- older generations. Two-thirds (66 percent) of Millennials (respondents aged 18-34) think that being identified as a "geek" is a compliment, while only 39 percent of respondents aged 65 and older agree.

The cultural shift in the way Americans perceive geeks is further evidenced by the findings that eight out of 10 (82 percent) respondents feel it is more acceptable to be a geek today than it was 15 years ago.

"It might be Americans' increasing dependence on and comfort with technology or the prevalent images of former 'geeks' who now successfully lead multibillion dollar technology companies, but being a geek has gone mainstream, said Jack Cullen, president of Modis. "In fact, 65 percent of Americans think that everyone is a geek about something. So on Geek Pride Day, we want to celebrate the innovation and advancements geeks have made to our everyday life."

Here are a few more reasons to celebrate Geek Pride Day, according to the survey:

  • Proud to be a geek! Nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of Americans self-identify as a geek.
  • Geeks are shaping technology through their work. Geeks are typically associated with being well-suited for IT or technology industries. Survey respondents felt the professional fields that geeks are best-suited for include video game designer (65 percent), technology engineer (50 percent) and professional blogger (37 percent).
  • Who are you calling a nerd? The terms"nerd" and "geek" are not interchangeable. The survey showed that Americans are much more wary of being called a "nerd" than a "geek" -- even geeks agree! A majority (87 percent) of self-identified geeks were more comfortable being labeled a geek than a nerd (61 percent).

Next:High School Geek, Jock or Class Clown?

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