Identity Crisis

It’s kind of a funny thing to work in the tech industry. By definition, you work with geeks. Lots of them. And you know, you sort of become geeky yourself. We’ll leave alone for a minute the idea that you might have started that way, which may have in fact led you into your current field because of course we know that that’s not the case for me. Honest. But I digress.

Anyway, as I was saying, there’s a funny thing that happens when you work in the tech industry. Your idea

A QR code

of what’s “normal” becomes a little skewed. For example, I’ve been on Twitter since March 2008. I’m surprised when people don’t know what QR codes are. I don’t understand why all my Facebook friends haven’t joined Google+ yet. I read xkcd pretty much every day. And I serve as my family’s remote tech support through the powers of LogMeIn.

But even despite all this, I can look around and legitimately think that I’m not a geek. I’m normal. In comparison anyway. There are people I know – a majority even – who are far more geeky than I. For example, I don’t think I joined Facebook until about June 2008 (from what I can tell. Don’t quote me on that). I had never seen either Star Wars or Star Trek in full until I was in college. But much of geekiness is defined by gadgets. So let’s take a look at my technological history, shall we?

Up until 1999, I adamantly refused to get a cell phone. People with cell phones reminded me of people with pagers. They were people who really wanted to appear important.  But one day I got lost walking from South Station to meet my dad who was docked on a cruise ship. I had no money, no phone, no car and it was dark. That was scary. A year or two later, I got into a car accident on the way home for work and had no way of contacting anyone. So I got a phone. That was my gateway drug.

I got a Handspring Visor. I paid more than $500 to get the first Bluetooth-enabled cell phone on Verizon (an investment that later paid off when a class-action suit made Verizon pay me back every single penny of it three years later.) Then I dreamed of having an integrated device and got a Treo. I only broke down to get a BlackBerry when I went onto my company’s phone and data plan.

I owned the 1st gen Kindle. After I stepped on its screen and broke it, I got the 2nd gen Kindle. I lusted after the 3rd gen Kindle, but didn’t get it because my 2nd gen Kindle still, you know, worked. I also own an original iPad, which I purchased in May 2010. I didn’t really lust after the iPad 2 – not enough change. So now I’m thinking I want the Kindle Touch, but not the Kindle Fire (I really do love the e-ink technology). Meanwhile, I’m waiting with bated breath for next Tuesday’s iPhone announcement since I’m currently on my second BlackBerry loaner (my own BlackBerry having died a few weeks ago after a valiant final few months post-toddler vomit).

So all this preamble is really to ask the following question:

Do I qualify as a tech geek, or merely an early adopter who bizarrely missed the iPhone train?

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