If aliens landed here on Earth and all that was left was our social media data, they would probably conclude that Earth was a planet ruled by those we classify as geeks. Did I say geeks, yes I did, and this article explains why I did.
There was a time in pop culture where the geeky guy with the glasses was getting sand kicked in his face by the athlete. Both the girl and the happy ending were only the geek’s if he transformed himself into a non-geek and out studded the stud. However, with technologies, communications, social media and other intellectual skill sets being hotter than ever, times have changed. Today we see the Mark Zuckerbergs (and other brains over brawn types) in the spot light, much more than the beefy athletes headed for pro sports. Now the brawny guy is trying to be geek chic as he rocks his Clark Kent specks and other iconic geek accessories.
Even the entertainment industry has changed as yesterdays’ nerds are today’s big box office directors and making movies that are geek heaven. The Avengers, Superman, Batman, Thor, Iron man and more were movies that comic collectors dreamed of but never expected to see as part of pop culture’s mainstream. Yet here we are now with top film makers like Bryan Singer, Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams (to name a few) that are directing the course of the Hollywood movie machine. Yes revenge of the nerds is more truth than fiction it seems.
What does this role reversal mean, and is it only applicable to rich and powerful geeks? As you may have guessed while we adore the geeks that are part of that exclusive one percent earning bracket, not all geeks are feeling the love. It seems that geeks without at least a visible trajectory towards success are still holding up the walls at proms and bars. The impact for “every day geeks,” of having geeks at the top of the food chain, is somewhat similar to what happens when a representative from any minority becomes the center of pop culture attention. On the one hand it makes people aware that greatness can come from places they may have over looked. Public awareness is up and people are more open to things they may have not considered before when it comes to accepting people outside of their superficial or traditional norms. On the other hand, however, people being open and aware is usually not enough motivation to get them to act differently than they have grown accustomed too unless given very good reason to do so.
Still things are undoubtedly better overall for geeks, freaks and nerds. If our love affair continues with smart guys that look like the comic book store owner from the Simpsons, then the subtle take over will continue. Trickle down “geekanomics” will elevate even the book wormiest of guys and girls and on that day we will wake and Geeks will have inherited the Earth.