Remember when kids used to get beaten up for having thick glasses, liking school, and being obsessed with their computers? Well, those are now the kids that everyone wants to be like. Think about it. The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular shows on TV nowadays, and its characters are now folk heroes. Napoleon Dynamite still has an uncanny cult following after almost a decade out of the theaters. SciFi shows like Lost have become the most popular type of drama series. Thick nerdy glasses are totally in style. Mark Zuckerberg just won Person of the Year. Hipsters are deliberately shopping for the geekiest t-shirts they can find (e.g. Star Wars). And something like 99% of the people we know just love to say “I’m such a nerd” whenever they’re talking about their weird knowledge and obsession about a particular topic. As predicted, the nerds have indeed taken over the world, and they have forced us to join their ranks.
So why has everyone made the conversion to nerd-dom? Could it be that we were all nerds all along, and we just needed some proof that it was socially acceptable before coming out of the closet? According to the famous geek-dork-or-dweeb Venn Diagram, “Nerd” is at the intersection of Social Ineptitude, Obsession, and Intelligence. Maybe just admitting “I’m a nerd” gets us off the hook for our social ineptitude, which makes us feel more at ease around other people.
Whatever it is, I’m glad to see that nerds are the new rock stars, and I hope this trend continues. It’s good for the world.