Why Earth Is Getting Nerdier (and Why That's a Great Thing)
Twenty years ago, “nerd” was the kind of word that caused students to declare war on each other or start stealing lunch money. Now there are whole groups of people who proudly call themselves nerds. On the first day of school, there were probably at least one or two people in your class who introduced themselves by excitedly talking about what huge nerds they are.
Why has it become so cool to be a huge nerd?
Reason #1: Everyone’s favorite celebrities are nerds.
It’s true. Music-lovers adore nerdy artists like Radiohead, Los Campesinos!, and Cool Kids. Mega-nerd Michael Cera is one of the most popular actors in America. Conan O’Brien and Tina Fey practically own your television. It’s like the whole country has elected the chess club president to be Homecoming King. And it’s awesome.
Reason #2: The internet is making everyone alive into a nerd.
Ten years ago, if you knew someone who spent three hours a day on her computer, you’d probably guess that she was a nerd. Now, hundreds of millions of people carry out a large chunk of their social lives online. A lot of our parents have Facebook and Twitter accounts. Senior citizens use YouTube. Cheap broadband connections will one day give even the world’s poorest citizens the chance to spend hours a day editing Wikipedia articles.
Reason #3: Nerd culture is our culture.
Whether it's Harry Potter or Twilight, Macs or PCs, Halo or Zelda, almost every recent cultural phenomenon is very, very nerdy. The biggest movies of the past decade? The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The most popular athlete? A swimmer. The President of the United States? Collects comic books (and he reads Harry Potter!). There is no escaping it. Nerd culture is now the dominant culture in the western world. Resistance is futile.
Reason #4: Nerds are great.
When you think about it, nerds were always destined to rule the world. They value intelligence and hard work, respect people who live and act differently, and accept people’s awkwardness as a positive trait. It’s great news that the world seems to be getting nerdier by the day.
What do you think? Are you a giant nerd and proud of it?