Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I’m a nerd. Most of my friends, past and present, are nerds (or geeks, or whatever you want to call them). So I feel I’m at least somewhat versed in what makes up a nerd, and I’d like to make a few points based on what I often see nerds portrayed as in television, a few books, and, well, every form of media ever.

1. Not all nerds are unpopular.
Maybe it was just my high school, but several of the nerds I knew were fairly popular. They had a lot of friends, were well liked by even those outside their circles, and weren’t picked last for sports teams during gym class (that was always the freshmen). And things are a lot different as an adult, but the rule still applies. A nerd probably isn’t locked in his parents’ basement playing video games. He’s probably at work like anyone else.

2. In general, nerds are not socially inept.
Over the years, I’ve known several people who were socially awkward (myself included). Not all were nerds. In fact, most weren’t. The people I know who like comics, video games, and anime among other things aren’t the type to show up to a black-tie event wearing jeans and sneakers. It just means they like “nerdy” things.

3. Just because someone is ridiculously smart, doesn’t mean they’re a stereotypical nerd.
The valedictorian for my high school class was super smart, like straight A’s since middle school, perfect attendance, and tons of extra credit assignments. She was also a huge athlete and one of the most popular girls in school. She was one of those people who does everything and does it well, and no one held it against her because she was a really nice person. The next highest GPA belonged to a girl who was the same, minus being a big athlete, and plus being a hardcore party girl. These days, it’s pretty much the same. The smart look like everyone else. Where’s that in your TV nerds?

4. Most nerds don’t dress wacky.
Seriously, what is up with this trend? The women always have flamboyant hair and three-inch nails while the men are always wearing nerd glasses and miss-tucked shirts. I have never in my life met someone who dresses like that, not in high school and not now. Most of the nerds I know dress exactly like everyone else. Not that there aren’t people who dress to get attention. It’s just…that isn’t the calling sign of the nerd.

5. Not all nerds are bullied. Not all those bullied are nerds.
On TV and usually in books, high school nerds seem to be bullied all the time. But in my experience, not so much. The bullied were shy, awkward and bad socially, but not nerds in the traditional sense. Not that nerds weren’t made fun of for their tastes sometimes. However, that isn’t unique to nerds. Anyone who liked something that could potentially be made fun of was most definitely made fun of. It’s called High School.


  1. The valedictorian at my school was also crazy intelligent, and pretty, and happened to be captain of the cheer leading squad, certainly not what the TV has portrayed as your typical nerd.

  2. Super smart = geek. You don't have to be smart to be a nerd. There are variations in these things, you know!
    I was a nerd and a geek, but I went to a school full of geeks, so it didn't really show.
    My brother used to always say I went to nerd school, but most of the kids at my school weren't nerds at all.

  3. This is why we must stop looking to TV and movies for our ideas on how people are. Because people aren't like that in real life. Or, we need to make a movie or TV show where people behave like they do in real life...

  4. I'm a closet nerd. I don't tend to flaunt it, because I'm introverted and I tend not to flaunt anything, but people come to me for technical assistance.

    You should celebrate your nerdiness! :)

  5. Seriously, I'm a nerd, but I don't dress funny or have social problems (well, most of the time). It's funny because my group of friends in high school were all nerdy and well-liked because most of us were pretty smart and kind. It depends on the nerd. :)

  6. I see the Cash Payday Loans people have found you, too! At least it's not just me. ;)

    I've wondered sometimes if Big Bang Theory and its ilk will make it socially acceptable to be... well, *that* kind of nerd, but my guess is the viewing audience in general likes those nerds because they make us laugh for half an hour but we don't have to hang out with them. And that bugs me.

    1. I thought I deleted that one...man, they're getting annoying.

  7. The spammers do have a way of getting past the filters every once in awhile, more's the pity. Do they really think we'll let them stay?

    I've found the TV nerd to be a badly drawn out caricature, no matter the show, only presenting stereotypes.


Please validate me.