Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Nerds Like Us

by Sophie Parekh

So, the twenty-first century has brought us many a cultural intrusion, such as hashtags, vlogging and shipping to name a few. However, it also appears to have popularised nerdiness on a phenomenal scale. 

Now, I’m not saying there weren’t nerds before 2000. There have been geeks since the beginning of time, but not quite existing in the same light. The nerds of old were, according to the movies, bespectacled, buck-toothed, maths-worshipping weeds who couldn’t walk two steps without gasping for their inhalers and were the sole target of the pumped up jocks who seemed to be made of steroids (see picture below):

But, during the last ten or so years, a new breed of nerd has evolved.

And they are cool.

*Gasp, shock-horror, falls off chair, goes into cardiac arrest, gets rushed to hospital and is now in the ICU* Okay, that might have been a slight overreaction… Nevertheless, the shock is well deserved. Look at these 5 pictures and ask yourself, what do they all have in common?

They are all, what could be stereotypically categorised as, nerdy. And yet, we look upon them as an integral part of our culture and do not question their place within it. They are not seen as something to be despised, and the principle for which they stand has in fact spawned many other sub-cultures in which we all indulge on occasion. For example, ‘nerd glasses’ seem to be a key feature of the ‘scene kid’ culture. In short, it is now okay to insult people in Shakespearean in public, whereas before we could only do it in the privacy of our own home.

I may be being a bit radical, but I fear that the notion of ‘jock’ or ‘sporty person’ is slowly but surely creeping out of fashion and behind the metaphorical curtains of subculture. Those who refute the idea of spending an evening huddled in the dark, binge-watching Game of Thrones for the eighth time and instead prefer to spend it going for a run *another cardiac arrest*. This is, quite rightly, viewed by most normal functioning members of society as crazy. But why??? I hear you ponder while staring with avid interest at your screen. And I have come up with a theory based on an extremely limited knowledge of psychology and an incredible talent for pontificating.

My theory is this: Darwin tells us that a species evolves by survival of the fittest and in the beginning it was who was good at hunting, this has been embedded into our basic instincts, hence why athleticism has always been something to aspire to. However, due to the rise of technology and its integration into our daily lives, the Darwinian concept of ‘the fittest’ has changed into being more of a technology-savvy recluse or ‘nerds’ , ergo this life-style is becoming more and more popular. 

And so, I leave you with this. Ich bin ein Nerd. (I'ts a quotation from The IT Crowd in case you aren’t introverted enough to get it).


  1. I think that the problem here is that the 'cool' nerds are a bit like hipsters. They're all following a trend to fit in and seem 'quirky'. The true nerds are still as uncool as ever because they truly do their own thing and people don't understand or accept that.

    1. Fully agree with the above comment. This is a new trend, a `new breed` as the author suggests. Nothing has at all suggested a change in perception of the so-called `original nerds`, it's just that a brand has developed that is more attractive to the status quo.

  2. I fully agree with the above comments and the Darwin theory. The supposed 'jocks' and 'sporty people', have evolved into a 'cool' nerd but as mentioned before, the 'original nerds' are still uncool because they are not understood as well as maybe the 'cool' people.


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