If you’re a fan of science fiction or investigative thrillers, you’ve most likely come across the stereotypical nerdy character; you know the guy who knows everything about computers and science and has above average IQ he/she uses to solve overwhelmingly complex problems other normal members of the species would most likely spend three thousand years working out the complexities. Part of the reason this cliché has dominated modern day television (and will continue to dominate for a long while) can be attributed to the rise of the space age in America.
The years in between world war II which saw an increase in the fascination of the scientist from one whose days were spent tucked in a lab somewhere to one whose ideas could be used to design bombs and computers, and the Cold War which eventually led to the Space Age saw the nerd rise from one condemned to die alone in a house with 20 cats to a person who could send rockets to outer space and land men on the moon while winning his/her country bragging rights.
While nerd culture- which can be characterized by a general acceptance of one’s awkwardness, use of syntactically complex sentences and an overwhelming passion for the arts, sciences and humanities- has spread its tentacles across the globe, there is no reason to not doubt that the nerds and the socially awkward are still persecuted, mostly indirectly, by members of their fellow species.
The awkward glares people give you, the fact that many simply want to associate with you because you can save their asses an exam/ CAT situation and the fact that many would rather kill themselves before thinking of going out with a guy like you is devastating and mostly often leads to deeper recession into the emotionally broken and logically fragmented columns of the mind. And if you think being a male nerd is bad, try being female!
Being an active observer of people and social behaviour, I have reached the conclusion that people are scared of forming relationships with those smarter than them. Perhaps being emotionally close to such characters often leaves them scared of whether people think that the flaw in their personalities is extremely highlighted. Or maybe it’s because the way they speak makes them appear “uncool”, plainly obnoxious or simply incomprehensible.
Growing up a geek, socially introverted, and awkward; I have always been interested in the plight of members of my species akin to me in nature. It was therefore not surprising when one of my female friends who has been dating this nerdy personality for a while asked me for advice on what he/ she should talk about with his date. Having nothing to do on a Friday night, I spent a few hours drafting a list of topics that would engage the nerdy character over their dinner which was supposed to be the next night. This included the whole gamut from a recently discovered interstellar asteroid to famous personalities who have appeared in the Big Bang Theory.
I was therefore shocked when she texted me back the next day, claiming she had broken her relationship off with the guy because he’s a show off and too girly. Though I had suspected it then, I could tell that that was not the only reason she had to throw off her relationship because two days later she returned to her player boyfriend and began complaining over how insensitive he is and how she loves her but she doesn’t love him back.
Like many others before her, she’d had a good guy who was willing to accept her flaws if she was willing to sit for a 5-minute lecture on why Uranus is a Gas Giant and experiences vertical spin but she’d thrown it all away for another dweeb. But who can blame her? Good is boring in a world that values flaws, we adore the instant and glorify the simple- these are the flaws that nerds remind us about, our flaws evoke the fear of God in us and rather than make ourselves better, we find it easier to drown such thoughts with a good bottle of alcohol.
Here’s the wringer, nerds, geeks and introverts know that they too are flawed but rather than drown themselves to their hopelessness and futility, they grind their way out of the complex.
Considering the foolishness we expose ourselves to everyday, one can’t help but agree the world would be a lot better if it had more nerds in it.