During the weekend, I reflected on a conversation that I had with a colleague about how being a nerd is cool. We live in a world were computer geeks, programmers, and masters of code are treated like rock stars. It seems surreal that when a person is referred to as a nerd they’re now viewed as less of an outcast and more of a quirky innovator, maybe this all has to do with our culture?
How do we define what “cool” is or another’s level of coolness when we live in a era where the word “friend” carries as much value as knowing your mail man on a personal basis? Most people desire to be accepted, and as a result of this longing some people are willing to destroy the self-esteem of others for an ego boost or promotion.
How many of us have felt like an outsider? Whether you were the person that got overlooked during baseball games, or you’re the “new” guy or girl at your first paid job and you’re getting the evil eye from the veteran co-workers who feel threatened by your presence. Regardless what anyone says no one wants to feel alone all the time no matter how anti-social they appear.
It might seem unfathomable that most of the technology and devices we have were invented, created, or developed by individuals who had to deal with some level of adversity. Some of the same nerds or social outsiders eventually become the one’s leading the way in innovation and impacting the very culture that deemed them undesirable. Just look at our hyper connected society if it was not for the nerds of today willing to take the risk where other’s wouldn’t would you have your favorite social networks such as Facebook or Twitter?
I’m not saying that every socially awkward or fashion impaired genius will become the next Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Jack Dorsey. But I will say that some nerds have always found a way to see what others could not and as a result of this almost secret insight they have managed to shape the very world around them due to their eccentric yet alternative approach to certain industries and manage to hit the innovation lottery.
Instead of ridiculing the smart person besides you just because they’re not wearing the latest fashion try listening to what they’re saying. As society we have a problem seeing situations from another person’s perspective without considering why they did what they did. Regardless what your family, friends, or even social media may say about you don’t allow them to limit your potential.
Just because others can’t see your vision doesn’t mean you should allow that negativity to stop you from turning your dreams into reality. So what you’re a bit eccentric or a lover of jazz and sci fi own it and unleash your inner nerd.