Over the last few weeks, Eden Paradox and I have been discussing what she calls Geek Fallacies quite a bit. They seem to happen in every group of friends, but in particular, geeky ones. And before people go calling us names and pouting over what we’ve talked about and what I’m writing, yes, she and I have fallen into them on many occasions. I’m not writing this short series to make anyone angry, or to poke fun at anyone or anything. In fact, I’m pretty sure many of these “Geek” Fallacies occur within any group of friends. I think it’s because geeks tend to seek out other geeks, and want to remain in social circles with similar interests and views, that they happen so frequently.
See, being a geek can get lonely. You try to talk about your interests, and it’s hard to find someone who understands. I discovered Lord of the Rings and all things Tolkien during my senior year of college, and was total, irreversibly obsessed. Unfortunately, no one else I knew was, so I kind of felt cut off. I could talk about anything with my friends and family, but the One Thing I did want to talk about, no one knew anything about. Conversations about it were one-sided, and I feared boring people. Eventually I found outlets for it, yada yada yada; but that’s another story for another time.
The point is this: as geeks, we wind up gravitating toward other geeks. We like that we have friends who ‘get’ us. When I met MLHawke and joined a D&D game at her house, and we became close friends, and as an extension I met many others with whom I shared interests, goals, and values, my mother said, “You found your people!” It’s a great feeling, not gonna lie!
But as social circles expand, there are things that crop up. We all have flaws, that’s just a fact. But there are things that some people do that, as friends, we just accept because they’re part of the group. And I’m not talking things like laughing too loud at the movies, or eating the last of the dip, or things like that. Things that are not always socially acceptable, or are very, painfully awkward; and behaviors that, by overlooking and shrugging off, we just enable and encourage and inadvertently make worse. We overlook these things, or just quietly accept them because “they’re in the group” and we figure we have to. Or, “they’re not a bad guy/girl otherwise.” Excuses we make because we feel we have to, because we feel that if we are intolerant or unaccepting, we’re being disloyal to the group.
I’m rambling a little bit now because it’s almost 3am and I can’t sleep, but my brain is only semi-functional as well. But the point is this: often we don’t realize there is an issue until we talk about it, and it may be a little taboo to talk about geek fallacies for any number of reasons. But by opening up a discussion about them, we may in fact improve our relationships with one another because we’re not slowly building up resentment and just grinning and bearing it.
So I’m not sure how many parts this will be, I just know there are a few things that I’ve learned from my own geekily fallacious behavior, and seen and heard and talked about, and figure what the hey, it’s the internet. Sharing is caring.