nerdgirlThe other day I was wasting time on Facebook, as I am wont to constantly do, when I saw a picture of a woman I knew vaguely. We had gone to college together. It was a selfie, which didn’t surprise me in the least because this girl takes and posts more pictures of herself in a month than I have posted pictures to my Facebook account in seven years. She is not chastised often for her narcissism, because although she is vaguely insufferable, she is good looking. Guys will not say anything to her for the obvious reason that even though the pictures piss us off on some cerebral level, the anger and annoyance does not outweigh our desire to continue to see said pictures. (The loins want what the loins want.) And girls won’t say anything, because to do so would be immediately construed as jealousy by, well, everyone.

“Awe, hell,” I thought as I scrolled to the caption, which of course read: “I’m sucha nerd!”

She was wearing black thick-rimmed glasses and a T-shirt that has Yoda on it.

That does not make you a nerd. Just like my former penchant for wearing huge gym clothes and large CZ stud earrings did not make me Allen Iverson.

I bet this woman couldn’t tell me what planet Yoda trained Luke Skywalker on.* Or in which of the original trilogy’s films Wedge Antilles appeared.** I know the answers to these things and I’m not a nerd, and I’ve never been considered one (that I know of).

Also: she can’t even spell! Nerds can spell, that being half of what they did in grammar school. There’s supposed to be a space between “such” and “a”!

Later that day, I saw another picture. A male acquaintance had his glasses on. He was reading. The book? Fifty Shades of Grey. Not a joke. His girlfriend had posted the picture with the caption “He’s hooked! #nerdalert.”

When did this become a thing, and why? Do people think if they start acting like nerds now, they’ll be able to become a managing partner in an innovative tech startup like all the nerdy people they went to high school with?

If you’re not a nerd, stop trying to claim that you are one. It’s kind of insulting to the truest of nerds, the people who inadvertently earned the right to call themselves nerds, and likely hated and still may hate being called a nerd. The people who stand apart from what society deems normal because of their interests and social skills, both inherent and acquired. The people who have probably been taking s**t for years from people who are now calling themselves nerds.

It probably pains some of them to see selfies like this when they were made possible by their stellar contributions to technological advancement. To see a title they probably once tried to escape, and maybe at one point and even now have attempted to embrace, only for the beautiful, “cool,” people to try and steal it from them.

You don’t automatically become a nerd if you read The Watchmen or buy a booster pack of Magic: The Gathering cards for your young cousin.

Instead of popularizing (and bastardizing) the word “nerd” and its perceived meaning (an official meaning is about as hard to nail down as an official and encapsulating definition for hipster or Millenial). If it’s becoming so commonplace for people to like nerdy things or to wear Rivers Cuomo glasses, then why don’t we just quit associating them with nerdom? We might be able to abolish “nerd” as a word and a concept.

Then we could all be the cool kids!


**All three.