They were known as "nerds" and "geeks" in secondary school. But now we call them friends - and many are creative designers using the leading-edge in technology. According to a report in The Industry Standard, 13 per cent of all adults fall into this category. And while they're still likely to watch Star Trek and play chess, their lifestyle and interests are much less, well, geeky than one might expect.
The Standard defined tech enthusiasts as people who use the Internet, have a home computer and own two or more high-tech gadgets. When surveyed, these individuals also say they are early adopters of high-tech products and believe technology is important to their lives.
It turns out geeks are rich. Forty-four per cent have household incomes of £45,000 or more, and 40 per cent graduated from university. But they're not that young; more than half are between the ages of 35 and 54.
Perhaps most surprisingly, techies are not tethered to their computers. They are more likely to participate in almost all sports and leisure activities than adults overall. They travel, and they're heavy readers of newspapers and magazines. The TV show they're most likely to watch? Not Star Trek spinoffs or the X-Files, but Friends.
They are early adopters of technology, surf the Web and own a home computer along with other electronic gadgets. They are obsessed with electronics:
78 per cent sent email in the past month
51 per cent surf the Net for fun
30 per cent go online daily
38 per cent have a camcorder
27 per cent have a home fax machine
23 per cent own a home-theater system
21 per cent play online games
15 per cent have been online 5+ years
11 per cent visited an online chat room in the past 30 days
9 per cent own a Minidisc player
7 per cent listen to Internet radio
6 per cent have a laserdisc player
Techie designers are highly likely to participate in snowboarding, scuba diving, downhill skiing, whitewater rafting, golf, racquetball, martial arts, hockey and aerobics.
They are highly likely to trade mutual funds, use a stock rating service, seek financial planning advice and have an Gold-rated credit card.
Designer techies like to relax in front of the box, too – and are highly likely to watch Ally McBeal, Friends, Star Trek and The West Wing.
They are less likely to smoke, but more likely to drink.
And here's some really odd bits of info we dug up about tech-focused designers:
46 per cent have bought a lottery ticket in the past 12 months
80 per cent own their own home
18 per cent keep tropical fish
70 per cent bought a book in the past year; 53 per cent read one
Most go to the movies at least once a month.
Just thought you might want to know...
Copyright 2001 The Industry Standard