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The 4 Main Differences Between Geeks and Nerds

The 4 Main Differences Between Geeks and Nerds

By Steven Romano

Think you're a geek? Then you'd probably be offended if someone called you a nerd. Got nerd-pride? Then you probably look at geek culture as nothing more than glorified hipsterism. Think there isn't a real difference between the two?

Oh brother, are you in for a rude awakening! Read below and discover just how wrong you are about the 4 main differences between geeks and nerds!

1) Interests

The best way to differentiate a geek from a nerd is by taking a look at their respective interests. The term “geek” has become associated with someone who has a vested interest in one particular thing and knows it on an expert level. While it isn’t uncommon for them to have more than one interest, there’s always one subject that takes precedence over the others. Nerds, on the other hand, concern themselves with academics such as math and science. As a result, they enjoy games of strategy (e.g. Dungeons & Dragons) or watch television shows (e.g. Star Trek) that share this complexity.

2) Attire

Nerds have always been of the conservative mindset when it comes to their clothing of choice: slacks, button down shirts, and dress shoes are some of this species' favorites. As for eyewear, nerds don actual prescription glasses out of necessity and not to make an ironic or geeky fashion statement. Geeks, meanwhile, want their clothes to be a reflection of their interests. Sneakers, jeans, and a graphic tee featuring a cartoon, movie, or other intellectual property they enjoy is standard. However, geeks can sometimes be slovenly, tending to their interests more than... ehem... hygiene.

3) Future Occupations

That’s right, even geeks and nerds need to make a living, but their career choices couldn’t be anymore disparate from each other. Geeks tend to gravitate toward jobs that let them indulge in their interests and use their obscure expertise on a particular subject for a more practical purpose. Ultimately, geeks want to have fun while they work, so it’s not surprising that they become writers, graphic artists, or animators. Nerds seek jobs that benefit from their devotion to all things academia. As such, they end up in fields with a focus on the applied sciences like computer programmers, scientists, and professional abacus builders.

4) Social Interaction

The interests of nerds and geeks have an impact on how they interact with others in a social setting. Since not many people share an appreciation for equations and scientific theory, nerds can sometimes be introverted and by extension not know how to respond appropriately in conversation. It’s because of this that nerds have a tendency to keep to themselves or seek the company of others that share complex and academic interests.

While geeks are shown to react better to social stimuli, their interests can also wreak havoc—and they may not even realize it. Due to passion for the subject, geeks can go off at length about their favorite comic, movie, or obscure early 1980s movie rock musical, leaving those that do not understand it out of the conversation and eventually bored. And, like we said before, the geek may be oblivious to these visual cues and continue to talk about the minute details of the fact that Brian DePalma's true masterwork was the underrated musical Phantom of the Paradise that took the classic Phantom of the Opera story and transplanted it to the modern day record industry, thus making a strong statement about... hey... where are you guys going?

Bonus: A MindHut Geek/Nerd PSA

Hey, kids, The MindHut says never, under any circumstance, use the words “dork” or “dweeb” as synonyms for geek or nerd. Both are actually pejorative statements designed to mock and ridicule the lifestyle of the aforementioned groups. So don’t be cruel, be cool!

Swear your allegiance! Are you a nerd or a geek?

Tags: nerds, star wars, musicals, geeks, star trek, life

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About the Author
Steven Romano

Like Captain America, Steven Romano is just a boy from Brooklyn. When he isn't contributing to The MindHut and other geeky websites, Steven's hard at work writing his first novel and comic book scripts. Follow him on Twitter @Steven_Romano, and swing by his blog: stevenromano.tumblr.com

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.