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Has Youth Culture Gone Too Far?

Artwork By Hugh Brooks

 

If you have attended university, you have probably run into some of the more “unpleasant” individuals roaming the campus. You can’t always tell at first, but as you get to know your fellow peers, it quickly becomes apparent that some of them have an agenda to push. It can start out as an innocent joke or remark, but the more you learn, the more you realise these people spend their days living in a fantasy, detached from reality. You soon understand that they spend their evenings sitting in a dark room lit solely by a computer screen, typing furious replies to anyone who dares to question or challenge their views. I am, of course, referring to ‘nerds’. Join us as we break down just how detrimental this group is on the good, wholesome experience that is Tertiary Education.

 

Bad for your health

Nerd culture blatantly glorifies anti-physical behaviour, as a common point of pride for a nerd is how little exercise they have done. In nerd culture, traditional sports (such as football or the American national treasure, Super Smash Bros. Melee) are flouted in favour of foreign e-sports such as League of Legends, Starcraft, and Viva Piñata, where contestants play entire tournaments without leaving their chair. This self-destructive behaviour is being normalised, stranding nerds in a vicious feedback loop of sedentism, poor health, and skinny legs.

A staple food of the ‘gamer’ nerd archetype during their depraved meetings known as ‘LAN parties’ is the consumption of disgusting amounts of snack food. Doritos, Skittles, and Bega Cheese Stringers washed down with a hedonistic mix of Pepsi, Monster and Strawberry Rekorderlig. During these parties, ‘gamers’ will often compare how many litres of Dr. Pepper they have consumed over the holidays, commonly referred to as ‘Drs Per Season’, or ‘DPS’ for short.

Nerd culture also actively discourages healthy eating, as the effort required to learn to cook may impact the time spent on other, prioritised pursuits such as ‘grinding’, ‘cosplaying’ or ‘binge watching’. Also called the ‘Netflix Binge’, this activity sees nerds spending upwards of twelve hours watching television shows on the capitalist propaganda platform known as ‘Netflix’. This nasty habit leads nerds into erratic sleeping regimes, rousing in the late afternoon, and only knowing when to retire by the judging gaze of the sunrise.

 

Bad for the species

As well as being physically detrimental, nerd culture also encourages anti-social tendencies. The standard for comedy among this group has devolved into a cancerous cesspool of derivative content known as ‘memes’. Comedy is a way for a group of people to come together and agree on fundamental values. When society is pressured to find humour where none exists, we undermine the basic morals in our community that comedy instils. Where comedy subverts expectations, memes take expectations and repeatedly bludgeons them until there are no expectations left – only disappointment.

Nerd culture stifles disagreement as diversity of thought is strongly frowned upon, and agreeing on approved nerd viewpoints is how most discussions unfold. Someone will express an entirely uncontroversial opinion, such as The Princess Bride is an underrated gem or Fallout 4 took the RP out of my G, and the whole group agrees. Not only does this make for ridiculously mind-numbing conversation, but it doesn’t allow new ideas to foster in the group, which is why you will find most of them have not progressed past a high school level of introspection.

Beyond this, nerds will also try to simulate human interaction through online profiles and chat rooms, where there is no need for them to take care of their personal appearance or hygiene. Obviously, this has immediate adverse effects on society as a whole. For the species to continue to exist, people must be attracted to each other, and nerds take little to no action in making themselves desirable. This in of itself is not the worrying issue, however, when they try to drag society down by advocating for platitudes like, beauty is on the inside, and everyone is beautiful to someone, and it becomes an issue that affects everyone.

 

Not even real

Aside from killing people and bringing about the end of the species, ‘nerd culture’ is largely a sham. There is no such thing as ‘nerd culture’. In the digital age, when everything is accessible to everyone, typically ‘nerdy’ media such as Doctor Who, Star Wars and League of Legends are actually quite mainstream. Since its rebirth, Doctor Who has become a British national treasure. Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed 2.02 billion dollars at the international box office. The season finale of the 2016 League of Legends World Championship had 36 million unique viewers, more than the record breaking viewership of the NBA finals of that same year. Nerd culture claims to offer exclusivity, such that its members can avoid being ‘normies’. But the numbers are proof; the ‘normies’ have become the nerds themselves, and the nerds are becoming the norm. And clearly this now a global phenomenon, and it must be stopped.

 

How to avoid

Once a nerd has been identified one can arrange their schedule to avoid possible meetings, however, sometimes they may be unavoidable. In these scenarios, it is best to lay low and not draw attention to oneself, lest you be barraged with an onslaught of meaningless drivel and poorly concealed depression.

 

One way to diffuse an encounter is to bring a group of friends. Due to their absolute lack of social prowess, the nerd will be unable to approach you or anyone else in the group. This is a handy method but can be difficult to pull off if your friends are unavailable or otherwise non-existent.  Another technique one can employ is the ‘fake phone call’, which can be applied at a moment’s notice with little to no counterplay from the nerd. Overuse of this tactic, however, may raise suspicion and resentment from the recipient, which would usually not be of any great concern except that chances are, they know three different ways to hack your social media.  So even though nerds are a steadily growing part of the university experience, don’t let them discourage you from being yourself. There will always be challenges in life, and when you get through your degree, you will find yourself a better person for overcoming them.

 

Alex Horner

The author Alex Horner

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