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mirza's avatar

How to lose a "geek" persona?

Asked by mirza (5042points) August 23rd, 2007

Ok i am tech savvy person but definitely not a geek (i dont even own a star wars dvd). And i am sick and tired of being the "computer guy" around everyone i know. Everytime someone i know has a computer error, they call me - but why me? So how do i lose this geek reputation?

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25 Answers

segdeha's avatar

Give bad computer advice. You know, like % sudo rm -r /*

Hahahahahaha ... oh wait, that makes me a geek.

hearkat's avatar

What's wrong with being knowledgeable and helpful? Those are admirable traits -- embrace them! But allow other people to see other sides of your personality, too...

What are your other interests and hobbies other than computers? Spend more time pursuing those and you will meet people who know you differently.

I really have to go to bed now (gotta be up 5:30 a.m. EDT) but I'll elaborate more tomorrow.

Perchik's avatar

I'm going to second hearkat. What's wrong with it? I mean when a gorgeous girl calls you for tech help...what can ya do? On a slightly less humorous note, just be yourself around people, there's no problem with being the guy everyone calls for tech help, as long as they know who you really are.

Jill_E's avatar

I agree with Hearkat and Perchik. Just be you.

Hawaiiguy's avatar

how about taking art classes or glass blowing? I had a blast with glass blowing met some cool people, or a cooking class. I mountain bike as well great year round activity and really cool trails to explore all
ober the world

figbash's avatar

Just appear incredibly well-rounded and brilliant when they call, and let them know that you have other things going on in your life, non-tech related.

Say things like "I can totally help you with that, but I'm on my way to an Ingmar Berman festival" or "I know I'll be able to make sense of it after I sleep off this cocaine bender" or "*whisper* I'm uh, kinda busy right now" or "Can't talk right now man, the police are here."

That'll do the trick.

Really, just have other interests, be yourself, and let people know that.

Poser's avatar

Start charging for tech advice. Like I do for psych advice.

That'll be $200, please.

mirza's avatar

i am perfectly ok with helping people
but the problem is i work as an apple genius (which is more or less tech support) - and none of my friends or family come up to the store for tech support. Instead when i come home, people call me at 3 am in the morning with "dude my pc doesnt turn on/ is slow" it gets annoying when the problems can be easily fixed by googling

@hearkat: interests and hobbies- hippies, anti-capitalism, the whole "tyler durden"-rebel idea, reading, sudoku,

@hawaiwguy- i am actually taking art this fall to find the creative side of me

@perchik - the girl thing doesnt help mostly because my girlfriend hates computers - she thinks " computers are taking over human brains"

Rayiscool's avatar

Hey mirza my cd rom stopped working. What do u think i should do? Jk but it really did stop working. As for ur is hard to turn down people, u could say u're not quite sure and refer them to google.

mirza's avatar

@rayiscool - does ur computer atleast detect the cd drive? googling brought this up,,616742_617214,00.html

segdeha's avatar

@mirza, you could use this as your phone message:

"Hi, this is Mirza. If you need help with your computer, try control-alt-delete. If you want to talk to me about something else, leave a message."

andrew's avatar

It sounds as if the issue is not really that people think of you as a geek (which I have some advice for), but that they take advantage of your time.

Be selfish of your time, for maybe a month. "I'm sorry, but I just can't help you" or "I really don't know how to fix your problem" or "hey! I know a great internet site where you can ask people questions!" is a start. After the month, then you can ease your way back into helping people, but only after you've made sure that your time is important.

I know how seductive helping people can be; you just need to make sure you aren't being taken advantage of.

PeteTheNotSoGr8's avatar

Look, everyone above said be yourself, but I am going to assume that is what got you into this mess to begin with. I think it might be time to try some new activities. The art class is a good start.

As for the people taking your time with computer problems, refer them to someone smarter and just as easy to get a hold of. Even if you have to feed answers to your little brother for a while it is better that he be annoyed with this than you. And he will eventually learn to surf the net and find the answers himself.

zina's avatar
i just want to add to this wonderful discussion that being a mac genius is H O T also, besides strutting your skills, when you want to prioritize other things, just tell people you don't have time / have something else to do / etc -- rather than saying you don't know
gailcalled's avatar
Set up a consulting business w. high fees (difficult, I understand w. family and friends)...and note also that you immediately broke your promise by helping @grayiscool w. her joke cd drive question. You are clearly TOO NICE. Get a phone that turns off when you are sleeping; or don't pick up. When I get calls w. weird IDs, I say, w. an accent, "This is Mrs. Calder's secretary - which happens to be true,BTW - and she is 1) extremely ill, 2) out of the country 3) nuts, or 4) taking care of her elderly mother."
joli's avatar
Decide to be a geek when you want to be and stick to it. I won't talk about Dentistry at length outside of the office, except here, of course! I've had co-workers annoy me endlessly with phone calls ranting and raving about work after hours. I've had people go on and on about their Dental history at parties, etc. I stopped the co-workers with a flat out,"Not after hours", about 5 years ago. I change the conversation, or move on at parties after 5 minutes. A quick way is to ask the person a question regarding their expertise, or merely about them in general. People love to talk about themselves. Don't let other people limit your view of your own depth. You are never ever just one generalization, but many! Already you have shown us you are not just a geek, but a nice caring person who will help us out at 3am!
jcknight's avatar

No one seemed to answer your question of how not too seem like a geek just how
its ok to be a geek or stop helping people..the sure fire way to stop being seen as a geek is to become a pimp like in hustle and flow.I mean I never heard of a geek who’s pimp hand is way strong. or better yet stop defining being seen as a geek as someone with your talents and people skills,truthfully you sound more like a push-over than a offense,brah.

phyrbyrd's avatar

As in all areas of life, it is important to set boundaries. Be helpful when you are able but let people in your life know that they need to respect your free time as well. If you had a friend who was a chef, it wouldn’t be ok for you to call him at 3 in the morning for advice on a recipe, right? The other thing is to try to let people down gently when the DO call you on your personal time. Something along the lines of “I see where you need some help with your issue but I’ve been dealing with that kind of thing all week and I’m tapped out right now. Maybe I could help you <insert some later time here>.” Finally, you might consider putting together and maintaining a webpage with helpful links that you can direct people to so they can help themselves with their computer issues (unless internet connectivity is their problem du jour)

nerfmissile's avatar

Oh dear. I’m afraid the geek personality isn’t meant to be lost; it’s meant to be cultivated.

1) Consider the diversity of geeks. At one end of the spectrum we have obese system administrators with lots of psychological issues. At the other, we have Vulcans. Before you dis geeks again, please remember that T’Pol is a geek.

2) Get a PhD. This is how geeks evolve into their second-highest evolutionary form in this world: “The Luminary” ... but they are still geeks… and though they’re supposed to be too wise to admit it, they’re proud.

3) Make a few cultural friends and get to know them for their quirks and perspectives (attend an art class or pay a poor student to help you learn photography). You’ll find them less useful and more colorful than yours: artists, gays, rich old matrons. They will all be more than happy to help take the edge off your geek persona.

Zaku's avatar

So Mirza I hear that you have two problems.

One is that people lean on you more than you’re willing to help. For that, try explaining to them about your need for sleep and however else it is too much for you. Maybe teach them to help themselves rather than lean on you – ask them what they’re going to do about their problem – offer to show them how to do it for themselves, suggest books, other techies, etc.

If your other problem is that you don’t like people thinking of you as “a geek” because you know stuff, is you might try developing the art of acknowledging all people who express either that you are or are not a geek with a detached, uninterested manner (“hmm, funny you’d say that”), and neither agree or disagree, but be yourself.

borchert's avatar

first i believe “geek” is not a good words for you right so one day when yourself dont consider yourself as “geek” then you wont be a “geek” /

cwilbur's avatar

Be hard-nosed about not doing computer tech support for free. And I mean, very hard-nosed: learn to say “no” without guilt. “I’m sorry, I fix computers all day for work; I’d really rather not do it when I’m at home.” “You know, I do this all day – if you brought me this question when I was at work, I’d get paid for it.” “Sorry, I leave computers at work.” (Of course, this last bit is only useful if it’s true.) “Sorry, I don’t do Windows – maybe you should call tech support?” (This one has been very useful to me.)

As far as the geek persona: cultivate non-geeky interests. Pay attention to fashion, and start dressing well, for instance; it’s pretty much practically useless, but when you’re wearing a ThinkGeek T-shirt with an obscure Unix joke on it and ratty jeans, it sends a clear signal. Wearing an unwrinkled button down shirt and chinos sends a very different message. Or cultivate an interest in sports: baseball is a great game to watch because there’s so much going on, but it’s all beneath the surface, and a lot of it has to do with statistics and trends.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Well, once they give you access to their computer, you could jack their info and steal their identity. or, maybe you rig the computer to detonate the next time it restarts. thatll get the point across ;)

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Just_Justine's avatar

I love geeks <3

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