The New Nerd

When I read the Wikipedia definition of a nerd (I know, I am a nerd myself for looking that kind of stuff up), something caught my attention:

“Nerd is a derogatory stereotype of a person typically described as socially-impaired, obsessive, or overly intellectual. They may spend inordinate amounts of time on unpopular, obscure, or highly technical pursuits…”

So basically, as a nerd, you’re not cool and you know  a lot about technology. With the rise of new technology and smartphones and what not, are the new nerds persons with no or little knowledge about technology? Is a high school situation where one student calls another ‘a nerd’ because they still carry an old mobile phone, and not a smartphone, possible? And isn’t that so ironic, considering the origin of the word ‘nerd’ !?

When I travel, I’m in a constant battle with my nerdy and not-nerdy self. I can look up the address up with my smartphone, but there’s just something in asking the way, learning short words and gestures in a different language, getting lost and occasionally finding hidden treasures.

And so I wonder: is technology killing the adventure in my travels? I can say precisely when and where I will arrive, I can text contacts and friends, I can locate myself and I can organise everything from my tiny little mobile device. But where’s the fun in that? Just because I can, does it mean I should? Should we organise ‘cold travels’: no wi-fi and no phones? Or should I just embrace this perfect time management tool?

The thing is: I love getting lost. It always involves a mental challenge of letting go, which I think is one of the main reasons why I love to travel. Maybe other people go crazy with these kind of situations, but I don’t. I mean, I am not a saint, I do sigh and swear, a lot. But most of the time I give up, I give in and smile – and right then, there’s always someone or something helping you on your way.

So my  resolution is this: less phone(y) – more real life experiences. Because at the end of the day, a good conversation in person will always beat Skype.