December 22, 2011

How to Deal With Tech Gifts from Non-Geeks

The holidays are upon us again, and regardless of Christmas, Hanukah or festivus, the arrival spells conflict for geeks everywhere.

Us geeks live in a catch-22 world where: we already own any tech product we might want. And if we don’t, is because we are waiting for the next version and we really don’t want current one.

The problem is that very few closet geeks exist. Every family member knows you’re one, and as a result, the walk into any electronic store saying I need a $25 gift for a geek”.

I believe the whole industry of useless USB accessories –ventilators, lights, coffee mugs, etc— is a result of this.

In any case, here’s my three quick tips for dealing with this:

Don’t Try to Act Surprised

We are geeks. We thrive on knowing stuff before anyone. We care about real iPhones and fake ones. We knew #TigerBlood was a trending topic even before we had any idea what it meant.

Acting surprised is not in our repertoire, so don’t try to fake it.

Prepend the Truth With an Exclamation(!)

Contrary to popular beliefs, the truth never sets us free. It usually leaves us standing by ourselves in the corner of the party while we discuss who really was behind the Think Different campaign.

Given our knee-jerk reaction to blurt out the truth, I suggest disguising such statements with more socially tolerable contexts:

Wow! I would have never gotten this for myself.

Far out! Can’t believe you bought me this.

You get the idea. Watching any reality show before the gift exchange could help with coming up with new exclamations.

Remember the Real Spirit of the Holidays

It’s about giving, not receiving… so keep all those presents and give them away as gifts the rest of the year.

Happy Holidays everyone.


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