As a guy who grew up with solid “nerdy loner” credentials, it’s no surprise that I often don’t comprehend some of the finer social nuances that swirl around me. I’m old enough to remember when being “cool” was of supreme importance to the young (if indeed it isn’t still), but I never could identify coolness in the wild — I was completely blind to whatever it was that made some people cool and others (including me) not. So too with “creepy” — my sisters and their friends had a whole taxonomy of creepiness and would discuss at length who’s a creep and who’s not a creep, but the criterion they were using was not public and it didn’t yield its mysteries to casual observational decryption. I never worried about it too much; I had enough social troubles of my own without worrying about mysterious social judgments that were being levied against other people. Nobody ever called me a creep except when they were desperately rummaging a sharply-limited vocabulary for additional insult-words, so it didn’t become an essential mystery that I felt the need to comprehend.

If any of that sounds familiar, you might find this (and the expounding links) useful:

On Creepiness

Thanks to @ceciliatan for retweeting this into my attention stream.

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