The Girl with the Coolest Toy…

June 16th, 2010

I admit it – I’m totally an Apple fangirl – in case you hadn’t already figured that out with my iPad purchase. So when the buzz about the iPhone 4G started, I was ready to buy one right then – cost be damned! Since I currently have a 3G, I figured I was due for the upgrade, but officially the upgrade process wouldn’t normally be available to me until November. I still considered buying one at full price before I realized they had extended the upgrade period to include my phone.

And while some of this is just because I want a new phone and I love tech toys, not a small part of this is about the need to be the person with the latest gadget. As someone in one of my meetings earlier this week put it, “You have your reputation to uphold.” Yes, my reputation as Queen of the Geeks. At least on my campus.

But I do think there’s something to be said about the way being a “geek” or a “techie” has come to be equated with coolness (okay, maybe that’s just in my head, but I think it at least lends itself to being at least a little crave-worthy). It used to be that computer-literate folk were pictured wearing pocket protectors and super dorky glasses (thank you Bill Gates). But then somewhere along the way, it became more chic to be geek. Maybe it was with the dawn of the iPod – ah, but maybe that’s my fangirl coming out. (I don’t think we can totally discredit Steve Jobs in the whole “geek chic” movement, however – the man has too much style – be it presentation or otherwise.) And now, whoever has the latest gadget, tool, toy, whatever you want to call it is held up as being the tech guru or expert in the room (at least in student affairs – I can’t speak for other professions – anyone else?).

It’s hard to deny that this has become a trend when there’s even a “computer engineer Barbie” now – the most fashionable doll/celebrity is into geek chic (and has me thinking I need to upgrade my glasses). So while for years I’ve kept the fact that I love computer games, video games, programming languages (the very little I know), and playing around with website stuff on the down low to preserve the already-at-risk social currency I had, I can finally proclaim that I am a geek – and get credit for it.

Now if only it were the type of credit that could fund my need for chic.