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Expanding the Definition of Nerdery: Why Technology for its Own Sake is a Bad Idea

by Dave Gandy

Those nerds are a threat to our way of life.

— Stan Gable

Definition of nerd

1 : a person devoted to intellectual, academic, or technical pursuits or interests

also : a person preoccupied with or devoted to a particular activity or field of interest 

Also-also: a person preoccupied with or devoted to a particular activity or field of interest, who wants to share their love of something with another person

It’s no surprise that there is some serious nerdery on the loose at Font Awesome headquarters. Including — but not limited to — science fiction movie-themed toy sets and our very own slushy machine (I’m working at perfecting Disney’s Star Wars-themed cantina’s blue milk recipe.) 

You’ll also see workstations riddled with custom mechanical keyboard parts too, which I’ve already talked about at length.

What can I say? We like liking stuff. 

The classic depiction of a nerd usually includes someone smart with technology, who’s socially challenged, and lacking style or hygiene. That’s fine. Sometimes the bill fits (take a shower, Travis.) 

Character-Deficient Tech Smarts Is a Nightmare

Sadly, so much of the tech culture we see coming out of Silicon Valley is technology for its own sake. Technologists that value capability and intelligence over character. We have a word for someone who is all capability but has no character. It’s what we make children’s stories about. It’s a monster. Nerd Monsters are the worst. 

Some geniuses have made the world a better place to live — but who are atrocious human beings. One’s nerdery shouldn’t ever exist for itself. Technology for its own sake is pointless. Because if you’re a nerd for the sake of the machine, the technology, or monetary reward only, nerdiness ultimately becomes a selfish pursuit. 

But in the Font Awesome universe, while we value talent, we like to expand the standard nerd definition to include love. Yes, love. Let me explain. 

We want to be the kind of nerds who like people and want to share our obsession with others because sharing creates connection. Or, you know. The LOVE. 

Nerdery Fueled by the Power of Love 

Things will never ultimately make us happy deep down in our souls. But there’s something magical about the pursuit of beauty and excellence that just has to be shared with others. And when you can get somebody else to say, “yeah, that’s awesome!” You’ve built a connection, which we all could use a little more of these days.

The fun side benefit of nerdery is that there are entire communities to get involved in. We’ve all spent the last year and a half separated from each other, and we’re so starved for connection, our inner geeks are screaming to get out and play! 

That’s why we started a blog series to share our inner nerd amongst ourselves at Font Awesome. As hard as we all work to bring you the best icon technology we know how, we also have to remember not to take ourselves too seriously while we dodge and weave ourselves through these strange, strange times. 

Ultimately, it’s not the machines or the technology that matters; it’s the people. It’s about connection — it’s about sharing the nerd

Check Out Our Nerd Show-and-Tell 

 Here’s where you can find our Nerd Show and Tell blogs to learn about …