Obviously, this entry is a no-brainer. Of course geeks love technology! You don’t need a website to tell you that! But let’s look at the ways geeks love technology and what it says about them.
For a geek, if there is a problem to be solved and two competing solutions, whichever solution uses the most technology is, without question, the better one. Technophiliac geek mainstays such as Wired magazine are incapable of discussing a problem with getting clean drinking water to thirsty Africans that doesn’t also involve them needing high-speed broadband and PDAs. Not too long ago the geek fetish site BoingBoing touted miraculous coasters that could detect whether the beverages on them were hot or cold, and illuminate themselves accordingly. This is an attempt to make up for the lack of useless plastic electronic crap in our society.
No other industry would be able to get away with what the technology industries get away with. Book publishers are not able to release a book with the understanding that despite some of the pages being missing readers will be able to grab them online when they’re eventually available. Shoe manufacturers don’t gradually release 6.1″, 6.2″, and 6.25″ shoes, claiming each one as the solution to people requiring a size 7. No mops fit into only certain buckets and eventually require you to buy a new bucket which will require a new mop in turn. Yet the technology industries thrive on such techniques because geeks happily allow them to. Disneyworld has brought fewer smiles to faces than has some landfill piled up with old cell phones, discarded in favor of newer models with slightly better headphone jacks.
A geek isn’t fully dressed unless he leaves the house with his cell phone, digital camera, mp3 player, thumb drive, laptop, and GPS receiver, even if he’s just going to go get a haircut. Because what if there’s a technological emergency on the way? What if a Very Important Twitter Message occurs while he’s there, and he can’t reply immediately? The consequences of such an event are too horrifying to contemplate. So he saddles himself up with all of this electronic gadgetry and heads out the door, knowing that he won’t run the chance of having to be alone with his own thoughts for even a second.
Technology is where the geek can really strut his stuff. Being a geek is already a class issue because of the enormous amounts of cash and free time it requires. Purchasing foolishness is central to the entire concept. In the sphere of technology, those costs are of course multiplied dramatically. Having the latest and greatest version of each of a dozen personal electronics gadgets, as well as a computer, videogame systems, television (and accessories), and whatever other bleeping junk BoingBoing and Gizmodo think you need to own requires some serious bank, and you’ll also need a large amount of time to get it all set up just right so that each device is able to communicate with all the others so that you can find out on your phone when your Tivo is finished playing your favorite mp3. This is not a job for the proletariat, though you may want a cool retro red star on the bag you use to haul all this foolishness around.
All of this is meant to enhance your life, but this is only true if your life is optimal when you’re constantly tethered both physically and emotionally to an army of glossy plastic doodads, each requiring some kind of regular attention. Many geeks opt out of having children but don’t have a problem feeding and raising whatever Apple’s latest cash cow is. The sad ultimate purpose to all of this is that, at a moment’s notice, the geek can be aware that a person he’s never met in Texas is eating Chinese food and has taken a picture of them doing so.
It’s like an enchanted wardrobe that leads to a wondrous land of…well, other geeks, but geeks LOVE technology!