I am a geek. It’s something I’m proud of, but it’s also something I have to be cautious of. Geeks are different from nerds. You see, nerds like knowledge and they like research. When they watch Star Trek, it’s because they’re interested in the cultures of the different races and the way they interact with each other. They have jobs that require them to spend several hours looking things up and organizing it. They don’t necessarily keep everything in their mind, but they know where to find it. They’ve read a lot of things and can recall the article, then go find the article and read it to you. Nerds can like a variety of things – computers, linguistics, dinosaurs, math, science, movies, sci-fi, etc. But when they like these things, they love the puzzle of figuring it out.
Geeks, on the other hand, like to know everything about one thing. They find something they like, and then memorize every weird fact about it. They have unusual tidbits just stored in their brains waiting for someone to ask them a question about the topic. They can spend hours going down rabbit trails and finding obscure history and little known facts. A geek can be a geek about anything – comic books, musicians, movies, books, computers, math, people, etc. But being a geek about anything doesn’t mean you’re a geek about everything.
I’m a geek about Superman, Hanson, Star Wars, probably Harry Potter and I dabble in a few other things. But I’m a nerd about linguistics.
Here’s a topic and what a geek would know versus what a nerd would know:
The Pythagorean Theorem is a^2+b^2=c^2. There’s this website that can solve it for you: https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/pythagorean-theorem. But, it works because a right triangle can be thought of as squares…
The Pythagorean Theorem is also called Pythagoras’ Theorem and was named after a Greek scholar Pythagoras of Samos. But people still debate who really came up with it…
Now that you understand the difference, you can see why being a geek is something I need to be cautious of: they have obsession tendencies. I can get wrapped up in a topic and not come up for air. I can fight to the death over it. I will pick a side and research it til I know everything. So, I have to limit myself. I have to know when to say enough is enough, Kate. You know enough. I love Star Wars. But I only let myself watch the movies. Did you know that there are books, comic books, video games and tv shows? All considered canon. (There’s more out there that’s not considered canon – geek fact.) But I don’t engage them. They would consume my every thought. One YouTuber, who’s also a geek, figured out how much it would cost to consume everything in the Star Wars realm. It’s $2,399.88. Oh, and just 532 hours and 24 minutes to sit through it all. Jeepers Creepers. (Here’s the video if you’re a geek and are now interested – link.)
My obsession tendencies don’t stop at fiction and famous people. They creep into my every day life. I can get consumed in work, relationships, food, sleep. I get caught up in cleaning the yard or the kitchen. I have to watch out for it at every turn. Because there’s only one thing I should be obsessing over and that’s Jesus. Because when Jesus consumes my every thought, the way I work gets better, the way I relate gets better, food gets better, sleep gets better. Music, books, movies get better. Every other obsession takes a back seat and when those obsessions get tamed, they help lead me to Jesus instead of leading me astray. I didn’t turn to Jesus because He took away Superman, I turned to Jesus because He used Superman to say, “Here I am.”
Geeks and nerds aren’t the only options out there. You can be one, both, or neither. Do you have obsessive tendencies? Do you find yourself fixating on one topic for too long and letting it consume your life? I’m right there with you. But you and Jesus are stronger than that obsession. Ask Jesus where he is in your topic. I bet he’s there.