Technology For The Cool Kids

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I would have been a computer person all my life but my keen awareness of social status would keep my inner geekiness just out of reach.  High school didn’t have any computer classes either. In my peer group, it was cool to work on cars, smoke cigarettes and drink beer. Being tech savvy was not the thing girls went for.

The other problem was that I didn’t fit into the techie cliques. I am not a snarky person and I didn’t enjoy the pimply “smart kids” snickering at me if I didn’t sleep with a Linux distro under my pillow every night.

While those kids were engulfed in day long sessions of Magic The Gathering, I was out partying and working odd jobs to support the habit. While they were still living in their parent’s basement playing World of Warcraft, I was nickel and diming at a half-rate apartment with a guitar and no washing machine.

But still, I did have my computer. I always had my computer. It was a big blue cinder block that was actually pretty fast at the time – sporting a Pentium 4,  512MB of RAM and a whopping 80 GB hard drive.

I mastered Windows XP whenever nobody was looking and was proud of how secure I kept it. To this day, “Old Blue” has never had a virus.

The only part that made the blue and gray whale (HP Pavilion) seem cool was the fact that I would DJ with it at house parties. With the likes of Napster, Kazaa, Morpheus and eventually Limewire, (Frostwire in my case) I had every song imaginable at my disposal – for free.

I was pretty tech savvy in terms of my peer group but it turns out, I was just a noob in the greater technology universe . After I quit drinking, had a family and decided that I finally didn’t care what anyone thought;  I was going to do what I love.

Now, I’m not trying to take anything away from the techies of today. It’s a different time and society is showing a shifting trend. Geeks that have always done what they love are starting to be the “Cool Kids” – See The Big Bang Theory (TV Show)

Though the cooler dudes in technology are usually the gamers – and I don’t know how much cooler really, but it’s hard to compete with a custom rig that has more horsepower than a Honda Civic.

These days, when I talk about Information Technology, I get more than enough people asking me about the latest GPUs, water cooling and frame rates per second. To which, I usually give them a blank stare.

I’m just not really into that stuff anymore. I do have a custom built rig, but it isn’t exactly suitable for gaming. It does what I need it to do and it does it very well. I try and tell the Gamer Crowd that I don’t need that much under the hood. And that isn’t the most popular response.

Society is changing very rapidly but I would still make the assumption that it is not cool to be a lover of technology. I don’t think “chics” dig badass programmers and the helpdesk folk don’t get much love either.

Of course, I could be wrong about all of this.

In fact, Being a CEO or CIO will always be cool. Those titles (and paychecks) command a lot of respect.

I don’t think Zuckerberg or Page have any trouble making friends.

As for me, I would love to see computer science and IT folk become more socially acceptable. Maybe more kids would want to start learning about computers and programming if the girl next door thought it was sexy.

Maybe the girl next door would want to start learning about computers too!


Michael Chase

Michael Chase is a student at Penn State World Campus, enrolled at the College of Information Sciences & Technology. Through his studies and relentless digital pursuits, he strives to be the ultimate technologist with a passion for connecting people and things to our binary world. You can find him around the web as a VLogger, Social Media Warrior, Card Collector and Technology Advocate. Connect with Michael on Google+, Twitter, Instagram, tumblr and YouTube

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