Now, for a thunderous applause for today’s geeks and nerds. They are proudly leading Generation Y to its fate.
Hold up. I don’t mean leaders in the sense of them being trendsetters (those darn lens-less glasses) and helping you set up your PC (hello, tech support!); I’m talking about their ability to channel all quirks and uniqueness via the Internet.
Computer mediated communication of today harvests an abundance of perks, from users conducting business to folks sharing funny memes; and–from the most desolate spheres to the most populated corners, social media users are popping up and boastfully claiming their online personas. Think about that Facebook status you read from the gal shooting out updates on the game–or, that dude who loves to tweet, detail his night out on the town; from that, it’s safe to believe she’s the sports fanatic and he, the party-hopper, yes? Of course.
Well, that social media usage also includes those defending the name of would-be social outcasts. Can you tell where I’m headed with this?
Within Gen Y, those who exude geekiness and nerdiness are able to fully honor themselves, and they are doing it without backlash from those considered normal. Oddball online users are crafting their witty niches, offering opinions and expertise on just about any offbeat topic imaginable. And, this garners much fascination and thirsty audiences, no?
Still, we have to keep in mind that activity only began to pick up speed with the growth of Gen Y; it wasn’t all glorious, at one point. Remember when it was a bad thing to be considered geek or nerd–or just plain ole outcast?
I sure do. Being a quiet kid, I was often on the receiving end of hurtful comments from my classmates. Yeah, it wasn’t fun being slighted and shunned for my temperament, and I’m sure my underdog peers felt the same. Soon something happened, though.
During my middle school and early high school days as a Gen Y-er, the Internet experienced its budding phase when weblogs started becoming accessible tools for those seeking to chronicle their lives. Book bloggers, then, wielded the power to chat about their favorite reads. Those into science fiction slowly built audiences who wanted to know about their infatuations with celestial bodies. In other words, blogging expanded, encompassing those who identified as different.
Of course, there is a correlation between Gen Y and people being technologically savvy. I also notice a relationship between this era and the level of acceptance nerds and geeks receive. Within and outside of niches, it’s less likely that a geek or nerd would get foul language for being different. They’re embraced and powerful, at once. How? Computer mediated communication.
It seems as if the online zone forms a buffer between what is acceptable and what is distasteful. It is as though the socially awkward are graceful navigators of online premises. But–how much of that is actually bleeding into reality? If, in fact, select youngsters (even in future generations) are still getting bullied over their deemed weirdness, is an actual change taking place?