The rise in technology, the rise of the nerd, the rise of the addiction!
Once upon a time, nerds were stereotypically “shy, introverted, socially awkward, bookworms” who were bullied, had no friends and never talked to girls. Nowadays, in a world filled with developing technology, there has been a huge socio-cultural shift of the role of nerds/geeks in society. It seems these geeks are stepping out of the traditional role of being uncool and creating a global niche culture of their own. “It’s as if the economic hegemony of the Geek in the 1990s, when high tech and the internet were driving the economy has somehow been converted into a cultural hegemony.” (Jenkis, Henry 2010)
The nerd character is becoming a big hit in today’s digital world with television shows such as (my personal favourites) The Big Bang Theory and the glorified Star Wars obsessions in How I met your Mother. Awkwardness is alive also on the big screen with movies like 40 year old virgin and the young nerds looking to party in Superbad. The geek community has largely embraced their former stereotype and are able to poke fun at themselves, creating great entertainment. We as the audience are able to laugh with them, knowing ourselves that we all have , deep down, an inner nerd.
However with unlimited access to today’s nerdish technology games like WOW, individuals can acquire an addiction to playing electronic devices with some people unable to find the line between reality and fiction, gaming and real life. In the reading Grossman states “The fear being that a single experience like a movie can warp a mind into thinking ‘real life’ is hardly worth any effort.”
Skype director Sten Tamkivi describes how their media platform has grown massively out of the technical geek circles over the years. With the development of technology such as Skype, Facebook and Twitter, our awkward nerd stereotype has grown up becoming accepted and admired in today’s society. They have become chic and have their own global following; so grab those glasses, put on your Star Wars T-shirt and buy that comic book, it’s hip to be square!