You have probably heard the terms Geek and Nerd throughout life, maybe you have even been put into that category. In rare cases there are those nerds who even make it into the realm of an Otaku. These titles seem to end in a stereotypical visualization, but we should really be thinking of these titles as an archetype instead. But you have to think what really is a Geek, Nerd, or an Otaku?
Webster defines Geek as an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity. When I think of a geek that is generally where my mind goes to, technology. Looking into the bigger picture we see that a person can be a geek of many things. People tend to use the words geek and nerd interchangeably but they are actually quite different. A nerd is a practitioner in their field while a geek is a fan.
Browsing the web you can find some pretty interesting things and as I looked around I found an opinion piece by Jennifer Wright called “Jocks Rule, Nerds Drool.” In this article she writes that she used to love nerds and that they used to be cool and do nerdy things but, “that stereotype does not fit in 2018.” From her perspective she had seen nerds as predators, and that jocks were beginning to be the nicer of the two stereotypes (due to increasing allegations that nerds are performing more derogatory things.) For me I believe that both parties should still be held accountable for their actions and speak out about that. So seeing that there is a shift in the way nerds can be defined through the ages is it again going to be a term you don’t want to be referenced to?
Being an Otaku, on one hand it can just be seen as an extreme love of culture, or an unhealthy obsession. Webster refers Otaku as “a person who has hobby-related interests that might be regarded as obsessive, particularly in the fields of anime and manga. It is similar in some fashion to earlier senses of geek and nerd (there is a perception that otaku are single-minded enough in their pursuits that they avoid leaving the house), although many people feel that it has a far more negative connotation.” Otaku culture in the US is not seen as poorly as it is in Japan. As the birthplace of popular manga and anime many teens choose these forms of entertainment to divulge in. Like all things moderation is important but to some of these teens they become reclusive to society and spend their days watching or reenacting scenes they see. A popular form of this is cosplay, where a person dresses up as their favorite character in a tv show or book.
These three generalizations, these three labels, are just some of the minute amount of titles we can impose on someone. Some of these may be seen as offensive to some, some may take pride in the things you call them. Just know that you should respect the person and call them what they would like to be called. Especially if you see these habits in the workplace, some of these people may have a different style, or way of interacting with each other. The ending goal for a person should be the unification of these people and taking the time to learn how to manage interaction between them. So how do you think you will interact with these different people, will you take the time to get to know them, or will you just ignore them and let them pass by.