Move over, high school quarterback. The geek is the new cool kid in town.
According to a new study presented by information technology company Modis in honor of Geek Pride Day (May 25), one in six Americans considers himself or herself a geek, and a whopping 57 percent believe being called a geek is a compliment.
Americans most closely associate the term "geek" with favorable attributes such as being extremely intelligent (45 percent), a reliable source for technology advice (56 percent) and a first adopter of technology (45 percent), according to a phone survey of 1,000 American adults.
However, perhaps one of the most interesting findings that supports this point - and also puts high school stereotypes to rest - is that nearly twice as many Americans would prefer to be called a "geek" (41 percent) rather than a "jock" (22 percent).
Of the people surveyed by the Opinion Research Group for Modis' study, 17 percent said they were geeks.
The results pointed to a cultural shift in the way Americans perceive geeks. While two-thirds of "Millennials," the age 18-34 demographic group, think being identified as a geek is a compliment, only 39 percent of respondents who are 65 and older agree.
Eighty-two percent of the respondents feel it is more acceptable to be a geek today than it was 15 years ago.
"It might be Americans' increasing dependence on and comfort with technology, or the prevalent images of former 'geeks' who now successfully lead multibillion-dollar technology companies, but being a geek has gone mainstream," said Jack Cullen, president of Modis.
At the same time, the survey showed self-identified geeks are not as fond of the label "nerd."
Eighty-seven percent of them say they were more comfortable being called a geek than a nerd. Survey respondents feel the professional fields best-suited for geeks are video game designer (65 percent), technology engineer (50 percent) and professional blogger (37 percent).