This post could also be titled “Why the Internet is Awesome!” Remember when you were growing up and nerds were highly uncool? If you were smart, into computers or liked to play video games, you were inevitably picked on. Every coming of age TV show had a token nerd or geek. They were always self-deprecating, trying to fit in and be “normal.” Nerds were the victims of atomic wedgies, broken glasses that had to be taped, and unfulfilled fantasies of popular girls saying hi.
The be-speckled ones with their high waisted pants always dreamed of getting back at their tormentors. There was even a movie made about it. Well, I think they’ve finally done it. You see, those of us who live in this world of blogging, social media and tech know that the nerds rule. Steve Jobs was a big nerd. Founders of Google, nerds. Mark Zuckerberg, also a nerd. The nerds are doing big things and proving stereotypes wrong. In some circles, it’s even considered (dare I say?) cool to be a nerd. I think what helps is that we’re all nerds (or geeks, yes I know there’s a difference) in our own right, and that helps us learn to own it and love it.
One thing I love about the digital world is that it allows us to connect on an intellectual, mental level. We know we have something in common because we’re here in this space, and that removes some of our inhibitions. Recently, I read the book Ready Player One. It’s about people who live more in the virtual world than the real world, and follows the journey of one particular player. I won’t get into the rest of the plot, but I do want to share a quote from the main character. These are his thoughts after he finally meets his best friend from the virtual world in real life:
We’d connected on a purely mental level. I understood her, trusted her, and loved her as a dear friend. None of that had changed, or could be changed by anything as inconsequential as her gender, or skin color, or sexual orientation.
If only the rest of the real world could reach that level of acceptance. It turns out nerds are more than just book smart. So, let’s all celebrate our nerdiness, and teach the next generation that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying learning, or inventing things, or playing games, or having friends you’ve never met. The Internet is where nerds rule, and it’s an awesome place.
Leave a comment with one reason why you love being a nerd!