Geek Etiquette – GeekGirlCon 2013
Geek Etiquette. To shower or not to shower. Should that even be a question?
I sat in on an informative panel at GeekGirlCon covering the topic of geek etiquette and wanted to pass along some suggestions, and reminders, for those of you out there proudly wearing your geek in the world! The panel was hosted by Tara Theoharis, the mind behind The Geeky Hostess. She was joined by the lovely Ana Visneski (social media for GeekGirlCon and writer at Digital Noms), Sharon Feliciano (blogger at ParentingGeekly), and Marian Call (musician and traveling vagabond).
Let’s get down to etiquette. Geek etiquette. Some might ask why discussion on the topic is even necessary. After attending multiple ‘geek’ related cons this year alone, believe me, it IS.
Not all of us are socially awkward, right? It actually wasn’t even until recently that I started embracing my inner geek; feeling truly comfortable enough being myself in front of others. Attending this panel for me was more like an eye opener than anything else. I had no idea what a geek is up against in the world until now. The truth is, more often then not, it’s other geeks. Yep, you got it. Geeks picking on geeks. Which brings me to the first topic at the panel;
You should not only own your ‘geekness’ but you should also except others for their own ‘geekness’ as well. To shame another geek is like calling the kettle black. The world of geek is full of different Fandoms. Subcultures formed surrounding common interests. Be it related to film, gaming, or fashion such as cosplay, Fandoms are everywhere; and no one individual or group should ever be considered any less a ‘geek’ or ‘fan’ for having an interest different from another.
More specifically this brings up the topic of the ‘Fake Geek Girl’. I’m not sure who you are but if you are out there, I don’t get it. Be who you are not what you want to be in others. With the panel itself comprised of real geek women, even I felt empowered to just be me. I think that is the whole message behind GeekGirlCon. Not only being comfortable in your skin (and proud of your geek) but being able to share that with others.
When I think geek, I think all-inclusive. It’s like a safe zone; where everyone is welcome and welcome to be themselves. One thing that isn’t so welcome? Body odor. Which helps pave the way into the next topic of discussion;
You might spend countless hours in a dimly lit room, playing WoW, balls deep in empty code red cans and pizza boxes, exploring a new realm; but its time even you got a little Vitamin D. One thing you might have bypassed on the way out…a shower.
Basic hygiene is essential, especially when you’re interacting with others. If that day comes where you grace the social world with your presence, nothing says ‘I really like the battle system in Final Fantasy VIII’ better than a little bit of mouth wash and a fresh pair of undies!
So you have come to see the light of day and found yourself looking for a good conversation. Maybe you’ve approached the original Spock at your local Star Trek Convention for some chit chat, what’s your next move…
…alright, even Leonard Nimoy knows when enough is enough. We all know how excited you are to be meeting the one and only. What we didn’t need to know was about the time you were Captain Kirk for Halloween and everyone at school thought you were a member of Devo instead. Your self-timer ran out a long time ago and the line behind you is just growing longer by the second. I’m certainly not saying that showing any praise is out of the question, but you have to remember that you aren’t the only two people in the room. Try planning out what you’d like to say before the time comes.
In the heat of any conversation it is important to consider the person that you’re talking with. You need to recognize that they may not know what you are talking about. It is easy to get overzealous on a topic that you have such heart for. However, your enthusiasm isn’t always received as easily as it is given.
One must mitigate their expectations. You must also allow yourself to find interest in others interests. Offer open-ended enthusiasm. If you yourself have no knowledge of another Fandom, ask about it. Show others that it isn’t just about every fact and figure you know but what they can bring to the table as well. You may be talking to them online where the rules are slightly different, which brings us to the final topic;
All ‘Flavors’ of online trolls are in their very essence abusive. Some are just looking to prove a point while others (who pick fights) lead to harassment. The purpose of talking about online etiquette was to shed light on the issue and to inform geeks in the public chat or gaming forums of their presence. The idea of empowerment is key here. If you feed an internet troll it only gets bigger. Ultimately it is best to report, report, report.
Truth be told that troll is probably a 14 year old calling you names from behind his keyboard. Though it may be fun to entertain the troll while your online, someone else may get their wrath next. There are no immediate repercussions in the online world, nothing to stop people from bullying others. Feeding that negativity and disrespect only makes you part of the problem.
Be proactive. If you sense a troll, don’t buy in to their game play. Express opinion but allow it to be short-lived. Have an antagonistic response i.e. ‘I don’t want to talk about this any further.’
Geek Etiquette. All it boils down to is this:
*Be respectful of others despite their disinterest in your Fandom; show interest in theirs. People like that attention just as much as you do.
*Be courteous. Would you really want to be subjected to other peoples lack of general hygiene? No. The answer is no.
*Check yourself. Wrecking yourself in conversation makes for awkward moments and could cost you friendships.
*Lastly, don’t feed the internet trolls. Seriously.
Did you miss GeekGirlCon in 2013? Don’t fret, for everything that IS GeekGirlCon will return in 2014! Buy your tickets HERE.