We Are All Nerds Now

Although I’ve spent about 20 years in technology marketing, I’ve never considered myself a nerd, geek…name your pejorative. My specialty is creating narratives and marketing programs around use cases and value propositions — not the “feeds and speeds” stuff normally associated with tech marketing. I don’t collect gadgets, and generally don’t get excited about the “hottest” devices and applications.

Yet today I was reminded four times that, like a stone worn smooth by a constant flow of water, over time technology has gradually formed me into a nerd. Not only that — we are all nerds now.

First, I finally answered the Apple altar call and stepped forward to order an iPad. I had dithered for more than two years waiting for the perfect mobile computing form factor for me and my big fingers AND a data plan that wasn’t usurious. I believe that the Kwisatz Haderach has arrived and I am stepping out in faith.

Second, my self-described “Luddite” friend, who will only read the print version of the New York Times and believes that Facebook is undermining civilization, sent me a note gushing over his new Roku setup.

Third, my 70+-year-old mother wrote me an excited note about Farmville. This from a woman who only a few years ago believed that e-mail was not delivered on federal holidays.

Finally, to celebrate my conversion to an Apple fanboi, I drove across town to Bennu for my usual iced drink. Trading pleasantries with the barista about the hot weather, he mentioned that members of his “kinship group” in Canada could not believe it was so warm so early here. I know of only two categories of people who routinely speak of kinship groups: social anthropologists and online gamers.

So I ventured, “What game do you play?”

“Lord of the Rings…I’m kind of a nerd.”

Then a wave of bliss and higher purpose swelled up in me like the Grinch on Mount Crumpit: “Well, we all are. One way or another.”

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