Tuesday, September 14, 2004

How to Talk to Geeks

It came to my attention a while back that many people might not know the best way to "chat" or "talk" with a geek. So here is my help guide: "How to Talk to Geeks" and yes I have true life experiences. I am a geek and I am a CS* graduate student I have talked to many geeks in my day.**

Basically geeks are great people. Often, (and I am totally including myself here) geeks can be shy people. I know a few who are not, but many are. It is not that geeks are unfriendly, they might just be shy. Anyway, below are tips and great conversation starters for talking to geeks.

  • It is important to keep in mind that geeks primarily deal in the electronic media world. Basically they sit around in front of computers for approximatly 85% of the day.
  • Majority of geeks live off of (or would like to live off of) pizza and soda pop (Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Coke, Diet Coke, or Mountain Dew).
  • Universal geek topics: Video games, Cartoon Network, Computers, Slashdot, Startrek, Star Wars, any movie made by Pixar, Matrix movies, Lord of the Rings movies, best Unix editors, latest technology, Microsoft, Apple, and SciFi channel's latest shows.
  • Basic background research might be needed. Basically, headlines and a little bit of understanding are all that is needed to start the conversation. You probably won't need to stick to the "universal geek topics" the entire time - but don't be worried if you do. Geeks as a general rule love talking about computers (hence they are a geek) but are in general well rounded individuals and often have additional interests outside of computers (a surprise to many).
Conversation Starters:
  • "So have you read Slashdot recently?"
  • "Have you seen the new iMac pictures? Is that screen not really cool?"
  • "Did you see the episode of last night?" (recommended shows: Enterprise, Family Guy, and Stargate SG-1)
  • "Are you a Mac or a Window's person?"
  • "What is your favorite Unix text editor?"
Anyway, this is my guide to talking to geeks. So anyone out there who was having trouble chatting with geeks I hope this helps. Well, it can't hurt is my thought. I hope you enjoyed this installment of "how to" by Stephany.

*CS = Computer Science
**This guide was written to help with talking to geeks, but may be useful in other settings. Nerd is not the same as geek. Also, sorry no refunds. You get what you paid for.

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