The future shouldn’t be nerdy

Tech readers and users know about a new piece of technology long before most of the population does. They understand what that technology can do for everyone before people actually know that technology exists. So when that software or hardware product finally gets away from the geeky cave, their features and highlights must be clearly clarified.

Which doesn’t happen that much. Geeks and nerds seem geeks and nerds before and during the development and even launch of their products, but most of the times they continue to look like that, and their products do too. Media companies often like to show us that products in a way that may interest the general public… but not the right way.

People couldn’t help it. A meme was born.

It happened with Google Glass and the shower moment, and it has happened again with Virtual Reality and the akward Time magazine cover that has become the new big meme thing.  Lot’s of images have been makking the rounds on the Internet, lots of listicles (and another one, and another one) have appeared around the new meme phenomenom, and even Time magazine editors themselves have embraced that publicity with their own favorites.

That’s a good way to react against a mistake that could damage their recognized brand, but there’s no sign of admitting that this cover does not sell that technology very well to the non-tech-initiated population. It makes Virtual Reality look like a toy, like something you look stupid with, and does not reflect the impact that this revolutionary technology can have in our world.

I haven’t read the article and I hope the text there reflects that, but that cover, wich is what people will remember, is a mistake. And a big one.

Please, stop that discourse. Technology revolutions will not make anyone a nerd or a geek. They will tranform us and our lifes, hopefully for the better. This kind of message does not help that mission. I’m not the only one who thinks that. There are lots of critics around. Lots of them.

PS: By the way: don’t miss the featured article that The Verge did on this subject. It’s amazing.


Javier Pastor is a technology journalist that has been writing about tech since 1999. He started writing for PC Actual in Spain, the leading printed magazine in the country, and in 2006 started to write online. First as the Chief Editor for The Inquirer ES, and after that for MuyComputer until 2013. That year he became senior editor at Xataka, the leading tech news website in Spanish with over 5M uniques/month (Aug'15, comScore). Xataka is part of Weblogs SL, a blog network that gets over 40M uniques/month and that has a wide catalog of publications in Spanish. The Unshut is his new venture and allows him to express his opinions and thoughts on everything touched by technology, and follows what he has been doing at Incognitosis, his personal blog, since 2005.