Nerds: they’re all the rage! As I write this, a massive movement of freshly geeked, former Cools is sweeping the nation! Suddenly, everydamnbody is allegedly a big ole nerd and y’know what? I’m not buyin’ it. Show me the receipts!
A real nerd is basically any person who’s obsessed with something enough to devote inordinate amounts of time and energy to it. A real nerd is too busy nerding out over whatever their Thing happens to be to Tweet a photo or make a Vine about it. Geek stereotypes about social awkwardness and dressing badly are, in many cases, accurate because real nerds are too busy being consumed by their projects and fixations to socialize effectively or give a crap who designed their jeans.
I mean, this trend could be construed as something really positive, if all the self-proclaimed nerds started actually attempting to behave in a nerdlike manner. You know, like pursuing intellectual type things, interesting hobbies, etc. But they aren’t. They’re merely mimicking a stereotype in a shallow, vapid attempt at convincing people that they’re smart and interesting without doing the work of becoming so.
Listen up closet Cools, I’m onto you! These things do not a nerd make:
1. Wearing glasses. According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of the adult population requires some sort of vision correction. There is no data anywhere that would suggest that 3 out of 4 people are nerds.
2. Instagramming a picture of yourself holding a book. Put.The.Phone.Down.
3. Or, a photo of your bookshelf. “Look! Books! In my house! I’m the biggest nerd!” Hmph, I know an Undergrad Women’s Lit Required Reading List when I see one.
4. Actually reading a book. Reading isn’t just for nerds or smart people. It’s for everyone, all the time. It should be as integral a part of your daily or weekly routine as showering and abstaining from murdering people. If you actually read words sometimes instead of just staring catatonically at your phone all day, that doesn’t make you a nerd. It makes you slightly better than the worst.
5. Watching a documentary. I’m super glad that you took a break from binge watching Season 2 of Scandal to take in a doc about Prohibition and all but…the people who make those things are the real nerds. You’re merely a consumer of their nerd product.
6. Liking Star Wars/Harry Potter/Zombies/Game of Thrones. Guess what? Everybody likes that stuff! Unless you’re engaged in some full-on cosplay or building a actual bunker for the Zombie Apocalypse, nice try but no dice.
7. Acting silly or playful. Making a silly face in that selfie you just posted doesn’t make you a #geek , it makes you slightly less shitty than all the duckfacers.
8. Knowing how to operate Apple products. The directions for using an Apple product is as follows: 1. Remove from box 2. Turn on 3. Use. Following these intentionally simple steps to the letter still makes you basically the opposite of a computer geek.
9. Posting quotes by famous nerds on your social media. Stephen Hawking probably didn’t even say that.