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Geek Etiquette

by Markella Kipreos

Whether you’re surfing the internet, involved in an intense online game, exclaiming the powers of geekdom on a social media site, or just enjoying Comic Con, geek etiquette is a must for every geek. Geek Insider has the knowledge you need in order to not end up branded as the rude geek or “that guy” at geeky events and in every day life.

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Be Polite

First and foremost, no matter if they called your mother a whore in Klingon by mistake or someone asked another person to hold their spot in line at Comic Con so they could run to the bathroom, being polite is a requirement. There is no reason to start a silly fight or blood feud over something that the two or more of you are obviously passionate about. Look at Rhett & Link’s Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek. No one else cared what this geek and nerd were fighting about, though the two of them obviously did. This YouTube video prominently shows the silliness of fighting over a culture that is open and accepting to everyone and everything. Think of how it would feel if someone upset you about your passion. Even if you don’t listen to anything else from this point on in this article, be honest, friendly, and polite to fellow geeks because we are all in this together.

Focus on content, not physicality

As the Geeky Hostess at geekyhostess.com so eloquently puts it, “Love that person’s geeky tee? Start a conversation by complimenting the shirt. Avoid the fleshy bits underneath the item of clothing you enjoy, and instead focus on the movie/game/world the shirt is from. Please, please avoid awful innuendos.”

Do say: “Awesome shirt! Is that from Shirt.Woot?” or “Sweet Mario tee! What’s your fave game of his?”

Don’t say: “Damn, that shirt makes your rack look fiiiiine.”

Follow this and there will be no missed signals. Everyone will have fun discussing geeky subjects, and not feel physically or verbally violated.  This counts double at Comic Con and other events where those who do Cos-play often get harassed or violated. Those who do this are part of your culture and should be respected, even if they are dressed as a scantily clad Poison Ivy.

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The Geeky Hostess also has these sage words of advice. If waiting in line somewhere, use your surroundings to break the ice. She says, “At a convention? Ask them what panel or game you should check out. By focusing the conversations on your surroundings, you’re creating a common ground and greatly reduce the risk of them thinking you’re harassing them.”  And remember that honesty and tact are always the best policies. Yet make sure that even if rejected, take it lightly and gracefully.  Sometimes people just aren’t interested in starting a conversation with a stranger or are too busy or anxious to do so.

Geektrum also has this to say on geeky etiquette at events such as Comic Con: “‘Have a good show!’ is one of the nicest things you can say at Comic Con, to exhibitors and attendees alike.” Show friendliness to one another; you’re a part of the Geek Nation and we’re a loving lot.

Social Media Etiquette

There are a few rules to live by on the social media aspect of geeky etiquette, the first and most important of which is to think before you send that message or post that comment. Ask yourself, “Who will this benefit? Is this something I’d want to read? If you’re not sure, don’t post it until you get advice from someone whose judgment you trust. Sometimes just because something is controversial doesn’t mean it needs to stay inside one’s head. The way something is said is just as important as the content. And as stated above, BE POLITE. If it’s something you would not want to hear then don’t send it to someone else. Don’t hurt the feelings of those who are in the same boat and fandom as you.

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Just remember we are all a part of the same geeky nation, so let that geek flag fly but don’t shove it down someone’s throat. Be polite, friendly, and think before you speak. Use that big brain of yours to make someone else smile and feel comfortable.

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