Thursday, June 6, 2013
Geek culture has become mainstream. It happens to every subculture eventually, but this one crept up on the world, and over the past decade, the same things that were once cherished by the unpopular kids have blown up and become the focal point for every popular media outlet around the world. It’s a great turn of events for a new generation of parents who have identified with one or more aspects of geek culture for most of their life. Here are a few ways you can encourage your child to follow in your footsteps, and why.
It’s a Popularity Contest…
Comic books were once something that only the uncool kids read. It was relegated to reading under a shady tree on the playground because either the other kids left you out of their game, or you simply weren’t interested. Today, comic book movies are the biggest money makers in Hollywood. Instead of a culture where “my dad could beat up your dad” is uttered, it’s “my dad’s comic collection is bigger than yours.” While it should not be encouraged to strive for popularity at the cost of your beliefs, encouraging your child’s interest in geeky hobbies because they are genuinely enjoyable can lead them to a more satisfying social life. It’s a win-win!
…That Geeks aren’t Concerned With
Most geeks don’t really care about being popular. They aren’t sitting out from sports because they couldn’t do well, they just don’t care about them. Living outside of social norms became such a movement that it’s now much more acceptable. The great thing about being a geeky parent is knowing that when you pass on your values and interests to your children, they will become socially independent. If and when comic book films, the Big Bang Theory, and cyber-culture settle down; real geeks will still love these things.
Embracing who you are and what you are interested in, and following those passions in life no matter what everyone else is doing is a wonderful way to be. While popular kids may sometimes shun you for it, if you were ever to sit down one on one with them, they’d admit a certain degree of jealousy. Geeks have cooler toys. Geek girls don’t have to worry as much about fashion. It’s a very liberating lifestyle.
Intelligence takes You Places
If you’re not sold that you should indoctrinate your kids to a lifestyle of taped glasses and pocket protectors, consider what you want for them in life. A stable future should definitely be on that list, and that relies on doing well in school. Studies are showing that video games can help to that end. So while your kid is pumping quarters into that Ms.Pacman arcade machine while all the other kids are running around the jungle gym, think about the long-term.
Intelligence is valued within the geek community, and test scores are often held up with pride instead of the point spread in the latest football game. Encourage your sons & daughters to embrace their mind and their independence, and let their geek out. They may lead a better life for it.
Sean Carter is an experienced writer who has covered such topics as video games, mobile devices and other technologies for blogs all over the internet.