(photo credit: Crash Course on YouTube)
Note: I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, and I’m still not sure where I stand. But I really can’t sit on it forever. So excuse the very open-ended-ness of this post, but I feel like I should post it now or I never will.
…the word soon took on a more celebratory, inclusive cast. Nerdfighters weren’t against anything; they were simply proud to immerse themselves in interests that others might find geeky or arcane. Indeed, the nerdfighter community is strikingly civil and constructive for an Internet subculture.
from The Teen Whisperer, written by Margaret Talbot for The New Yorker
I’m not a rabid John and/or Hank Green fan. I’m in awe of them. They have been able to build a life doing things they love. Not a lot of people are able to do this, no matter how hard they try. (I’m still trying … as I probably should be in my mid-twenties.)
But I find that I don’t really accept the nerdfighter label. At least, I don’t feel I can label myself with it. For starters, I had no idea what the label meant. Are these people super-Green brothers fans? Are they indie? Are they part of an actual community? Do they meet up? Do they have shared experiences? Do they all create YouTube videos? Are they people who buy merch/put money into the Green Brothers various companies/endeavours? I wasn’t watching the vlogbrothers when they started the channel, so I have not evolved with the channel.
I filled out the nerdfighter census this year too. I like filling out forms, even though I don’t identify myself as a nerdfighter.
It wasn’t until the article quoted above that a real definition was revealed to me. I like this definition; this definition is very inclusive and really, for the majority of the Green Brothers’ fans, that’s exactly what they’re looking for in their mid-teens: to be included. Maybe that’s why the brothers are able to resonate with so many people–they’re inclusive.
But I still don’t like the term nerdfighter. And that makes me wonder why.
Am I not their audience? I like these brothers, and I like what they do, but I don’t watch their videos religiously nor do I ‘accept’ what they say as fact. They don’t influence me like they probably influence a younger age group. I honestly feel I’m more like a peer than a follower. Maybe that’s the problem–I can’t accept a ‘follower’ label, even if the ‘founders’ use it, because I’m not a follower. I’m not a fan. They’re inspirational in a different way to me.