I can’t remember if we say this in America; but in Britain, to “go off” something means to become disenamoured, to feel less enthusiastic about, to be less eager to experience, something. As a self-admitted techno-phobe, I didn’t think it was possible for me to be any more “off” technology… but I was wrong.
Last week (maybe a week and a half, now?) I bought a new computer. Like I say, I’m not keen on technology generally (one day Skynet is going to kill us all!!!) but even I could see the aesthetic appeal of the machine. It was (abnormally?) big and clean-looking, and it whirred like a tiny automobile. It came in a huge white case with 4 built-in fans, out of which shone a shiny light in the most electric shade of blue I have ever seen. It made ALL THE THINGS move more swiftly, from checking my email, to playing Facebook games, to ordering take-out online. Most importantly, it ran the MMORPG that I wanted to play, which my old pc was not powerful enough to manage (Guild Wars 2).
Finally, Panda Mc Chai, ranger extraordinaire(ish) could be reborn, in a newer, glossier, more complicated, high-tech, fluidly interactive world, the likes of which I had never seen. I spent an obscene amount of money on a graphics card, spent a ridiculous amount of time downloading files, and then filled all 5 of my character slots with glorious, colourful, amusingly named creations; I became everything from a human, to a Charr (were-beast, minus the were), to a Sylvari (an elf, basically) to a Norn (giant Viking) to an Asuran (tiny Yoda-lookalike).
And then I played. Oh, I played. I levelled up faster than… well… my fella, for instance, who had to go to work, that week. I ignored… well… not my kids (much) but all of the lovely folks who have made me feel so accepted, as part of the blogging community. I stayed up… well… more than one night, all night, and then slept the following day. It was glorious. And I still made time to play the original Guild Wars–I have a necromancer who wants nothing more than to max out her Kurzick faction points (may the great houses of the Echovald stand forever).
If none of that makes any sense to you, don’t worry about it. I’m a massive nerd/loser/pick the term of your choice, and I LOVE being one. You don’t have to understand; just know that sometimes, when living on Earth is too much, I go to Tyria. And since I spent my teenage years reading unofficial Star Trek books and daydreaming about moving to the planet Vulcan, I am well and truly used to being mocked. I really, genuinely don’t care. I have been a nerd so long, I OWN that, now. I pwn it, even. Amanda = nerd.
What I am not, however, is a geek.
A true geek, you see, is the most useful of all the loser-tastic subsets. A geek, in its purest form, can almost certainly do some level of computer programming, or speak several languages, or get an advanced degree in mathematics/physics/chemistry; it can certainly do *something* that’s of actual, legitimate, intelligence-necessitating use.
A geek, for example, will almost certainly know how to fix its computer, should the worst happen. A geek will not, for example, be left writing blog entries on their OLD pc, while they wait for real geeks to get back to them with a solution re: why their shiny, brand-new, prohibitively expensive computer refuses to load its operating system.
A real geek, God bless his good-natured heart, IS fixing my pc… but until then, Panda Mc Chai 2.0, et al., are all grounded… and I’m reduced to staring at my now-too-big monitor, which is displaying so few pixels (courtesy of my old pc) stretched so far that I can almost count them. For, oh, the hundredth time or so, I’ve had a machine conk out, placing fun and work alike in distant, unreachable places, which I have to entreat other people to obtain for me. To add insult to injury, THIS time, it’s been done by a brand-new machine, for which I paid (have I mentioned?) rather a large sum of money, and which I was assured was an above-average specimen, certain to fufill all my gaming, word processing, and studying needs for several years… 5 days before it died on me.
And THIS is why I hate technology… because it hated me FIRST.