Saturday, June 14, 2008

To geek or not to geek

Going to MashBash Tel Aviv this past week was great. I finally met in person a bunch of really nice people that I have only tweeted with so far, which was in itself justification to attend. But even more significant was that it exposed me to a slice of the population that I haven't had much contact with at all. The hi-tech crowd. The start-uppers. The web 2.0 following. The geeks.

Full disclosure here - I am a geek! but have apparently kept it somewhat subdued since moving to Israel, since there are so many other personal issues to deal with (no, says husband, it's always been there).

I've slowly been getting into the world of social media, credit going to my big sister, the guru, and realizing there's a whole constellation of sites and concepts and startups and people who are absolutely dedicated to this ever-developing realm. And I've been losing countless hours of sleep trying to learn more about it, since I think the years and years of working in the pharmaceutical industry (in human resources, no less) has distanced me from both the technological and the theoretical aspects of web 2.0.

But then, on the one hand, I'm thinking, how very contradictory it is that all this social media is being built by the stereotypically most un-social kinds of people - those who sit behind a computer all day and communicate mostly with the computer and occasionally with each other (online - no matter how far they actually sit from whoever they're communicating with). I guess that's changed too. Or not, you tell me.

On the other hand, the great thing about web 2.0 is that you can pretty much have a fully satisfying social life with real people online from behind that same computer - choose to socialize when and where it suits you, only with people you choose to meet, yet never have to actually talk to real life people face to face. Phew. Because who likes to deal with people in real life.

Now, I've revealed some of my deeply-embedded anti-social tendencies (we come by it honestly in my family, I refer you to my sister's excellent post about marketing to introverts. We are out there, baby), but I have spent a good portion of my adult years trying to get over them, and get out there. And MashBash made me realize that getting out there is not so bad. Because we're all geeks in some way (except maybe some of those blonde women in skinny dresses that were shmoozing around), meaning that its probably equally uncomfortable for all involved. If I just accept it, I can reap a lot more out of the whole experience.

So I've decided to openly embrace my geekiness and dive into this new world with open arms - attend more events, get to know more people in the business, see what the future holds.

Geek on, dudes!


Nedra Weinreich said...

Yes! Embrace your inner geek! It is the way of the future.

I actually think I'm more of a wannabe geek (I only understand about 2/3 of the XKCD comics, but Lord I want to understand them all!).

You seem to have figured out all on your own why introverted nerds have jumped all over social media. Writing is so much easier than talking. But if we can develop relationships with people online first, it makes it much easier to then talk to them in person.

It's pretty funny - I'm now the social butterfly with my online friends. But to be honest, I still get butterflies before having to dive into a room full of people I don't know.

What a brave new world.

Rachel Yehezkel said...

That's my sister, the smart one :-)
(you social butterfly, you)

IsraLuv said...

i heart geeks. me - i'm just a wanna be early adapter (and i dont care as much about the technology that powers it then the service it provides)

it was GREAT meeting all the online personalities in person and i love that twitter and mashable brought us together.