Teen Freaks & Geeks Will One Day Rule the World

Jacqueline Burt Cote
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teen geek

Losers, rejoice! In her new book, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, reporter Alexandra Robbins explains why being unpopular in high school pays off big-time in adulthood, using formerly nerdy celebs like Steven Spielberg, Angelina Jolie, Steve Jobs, and Taylor Swift as proof. Are you listening, lonely theater Gleek? Someday you'll be the next Lady Gaga, and that cheerleader who's currently making your life a living hell will be shelling out major bucks just to watch you be your weirdo self.

The willingness to conform may buy some teens a lifetime membership to the in-crowd; but it also keeps them from following (or even having) the kind of wild, crazy visions that end up revolutionizing the world. What would we be doing today if Steve Jobs had let some jock bully him into obscurity? Still listening to music on a Walkman, that's what.

I'm guessing Steven Spielberg wasn't exactly a ladies man back when he was best known for his work with the A.V. Club. But if the hottest girl in school happened to have a crystal ball? Damn! No way she would've turned down his prom invite, even if she had to ride to the dance E.T.-style in the basket of Spielberg's bike.

As adults, we eventually learn how to flip through awkward pictures of ourselves in old yearbooks without cringing because we now know what our clueless teen doppelgangers did not: Being a misfit in high school more or less guarantees that the best in life is yet to come. Seems to me like winning the title of prom queen or king would be a curse ... it's gotta be all downhill from there, right? Meanwhile, a kid who masters the skill of flying under the radar early on gets to experiment with a variety of different personas before finding the one that fits -- which is a lot better than wasting all that time trying fit in.

Do you think teens are better off spending high school on the geek squad?

 

Image via D Sharon Pruitt/Flickr

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