And then there are nerds who reverse roles and become bullies themselves. A computer expert named Rob Collie wrote a blog post criticizing “Nerd Bullies.” He calls them traitors because they try to compensate for their “historically-instilled feelings of inferiority” by passing the pain and abuse they suffered on to other nerds: “Nerd Bullies suffered at the hands of the mob, and now they lead mobs (of other former sufferers!) against victims in their own communities.” However, he describes seeing Nerd Bullies at work in the online gaming and tech communities. We could not find any studies showing that nerd bullies are a problem within schools as well. Moving past the bullying and the somewhat accurate but incomplete view of popular kids and nerds in movies and on television, we find that their lives after high school are markedly different check this website.
Studies following popular kids into adulthood revealed mixed outcomes for them. A 2013 Leadernomics.com article cites the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which tracked the “social characteristics” and “career achievements” of students “who graduated from a Wisconsin high school in 1957.” This study showed that “popular students earned a higher income in the long run compared to those who were less popular.” However, a follow-up study by Yale professor Jason Fletcher called into question the findings of the original Wisconsin study. It included additional data from siblings attending the same school that showed the “impact of popularity on future pay simply vanished.” A University of Virginia study tracking young people from age 13 to age 23 also painted a less rosy picture for popular kids.
According to this study, “cool kids were more likely to have bigger troubles later in life.” These problems included drug and alcohol use as well as criminal activity. The study found that “as young adults, they were using 40% more drugs and alcohol than the ‘not so cool’ kids and were 22% more likely to be running into troubles with the law.” These things done to impress others hurt the popular kids in the long run. One of the researchers of the study, Joseph Allen, says that “teens trying so hard to be cool early in adolescence find the rewards of popularity in the short term, but their approach ultimately leads to a ‘dead end.’" The end result is what Allen calls the “‘high school reunion effect’”: "You see the person who was cool ... did exciting things that were intimidating and seemed glamorous at the time and then five or 10 years later, they are working in a menial job and have poor relationships and such .
. . ” In contrast, nerds often fare better than popular kids after they leave high school. The Daily Mail cites the same University of Virginia study mentioned earlier.
While the cool kids struggled as they grew older, the study found that “those who are less popular as teenagers end up doing better in life than their ‘cooler’ peers.” Allen and the other researchers of this study also “discovered the ones who were considered ‘geeks’ went on to outperform the others by the time they reached early adulthood.” In addition, Alexandra Robbins, author of The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth, attributes some of the nerds’ success to what she calls the Quirk Theory: “the traits which made the nerd alienated in school (unique personalities, passions and ideas) can end up being admired or valued traits in adulthood.” She argues that “being exceptional,” developing “coping strategies and independence,” and being “able to deal positively with stressful social situations” are some of the useful and valuable skills nerds learn while in school and later carry over into the workplace and beyond. What are your experiences with popular kids and nerds? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video called What Makes Popular Kids Popular! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.
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Like it or hate it, school has a social pecking order for most people. From grade school to high school, students form social groups or cliques, and some are more popular than others. While many students are lost somewhere in the middle in terms of popularity, the students at the top and at the bottom stand out the most. There are the high status popular kids who are often seen as the ideal everyone else strives for, and then there are the social misfits at the bottom who are often shunned lest their undesirable attributes rub off on anyone else above them. Nerds are usually lumped together with the others in this bottom group. Outside of school, popular kids and nerds have caught the attention of Hollywood, resulting in a steady stream of movies and TV shows about these opposing social groups.
While these depictions of popular kids and nerds have entertained us over the years, how accurate are they? And what happens to popular kids and nerds after they get out of school? We will try to answer these questions in this episode of The Infographics Show, “Popular Kids vs. Nerds.” Both popular kids and nerds are on the giving and receiving end of bullying. In teenage movies such as Pretty in Pink, Clueless, and Mean Girls, popular kids are often portrayed as bullies. Research indicates that this movie image is fairly accurate.
A study conducted by sociologist Bob Faris and his co-author Diane Felmlee reveals that “popular kids – except those at the absolute top of the social ladder – are most likely to act aggressively toward other kids.” This aggression comes in the form of “normative targeting” or bullying kids “who break social norms” such as nerds, but it also emerges in another surprising form. Contrary to popular belief, not all popular kids are safe from bullying. Some popular kids will pick on other popular kids whose popularity is growing. These aggressive kids engage in what Faris and his colleagues call “’instrumental targeting’” or the use of bullying “as an instrument or tool to gain social status.” In other words, they are acting out the age-old story of building themselves up by tearing others down. Another surprising finding of the study is the reaction of the popular kids who were bullied by one of their peers. According to Faris and Felmlee’s study, “any given bullying incident .
. . hurts more, emotionally, for a popular kid than an unpopular one.” These popular kids feel more anxiety than unpopular kids because they think that they have more to lose.
It unnerves them that a social competitor could undo all of the hard work they put in to increase their social status. The only kids who seem to be safe from bullying are those at the absolute top of the social hierarchy because as Faris states, “no one is trying to topple them from their perches.” The popular mass media image of nerds as victims of bullying is also fairly realistic. We could not find studies that focused specifically on “nerd-only” bullying, but we did notice that some characteristics of nerds put them at greater risk for being bullied according to stopbullying.gov. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a nerd as “an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.” These characteristics could easily lead to a nerd being “perceived as different from their peers” and being “less popular than others,” which are two of the risk factors for bullying listed on stopbullying.gov.
However, some nerds may also meet a third risk factor on stopbullying.gov’s list: “Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention.” There are anecdotal reports of encounters with “’angry nerds’” and “jerk nerds” as a few Reddit users call them. Unlike the likeable but helpless nerds frequently seen on television and in the movies, these nerds annoy people with their “condescending” behavior and “intellectual superiority.”
For example, in The Calypso Water Park, located in Ottawa Canada, there was a waterslide known simply as the Streamer Slide. It was a simple enough creation, it gave you an inner tube and sent you on your way. Nothing wrong with that, right? Wrong! This slide had a notorious habit of causing the tubes to flip, injuring tons of people!! In fact, so many were injured that 20 different lawsuits were brought against the park.
Although some were dropped when the trial came around, the park was found guilty in 6 of them. One of the worst injuries by far was when a woman broke two vertebrae in her back! The worst part of it all though was that after these injuries happened, the park didn't report them! They just continued with business as usual.
And as maybe the biggest slap in the face, the ride is still there. 2. Aqua Nova Adventure Pool This one is actually really terrifying, and not even in the way you’d expect but it needs to be said. You go on waterslides to have fun, to enjoy the water park and hang out in the pool. It's great, except when the ending dangerous, especially for women. The Aqua Nova Adventure Pool is located in Sweden, a place known for its beauty and peace.
Yet, in the pool that had people playing in it or people arriving at the end of their waterslide adventures, many women and girls found an unpleasant experience. This park is notorious for groups of men hanging out there, waiting to abuse women and girls at the bottom of the rides. Not only the water park but Sweden’s public pools in general have become dangerous places known for assault. While the government has ordered parks not to report certain things, especially the ethnicity or religion of those who cause problems in the pool for fear of spreading hatred and fear among society. Men and women in Sweden have been swimming together in public pools for over 100 years but sadly women are now afraid of going.
The media is only able to refer to this problem as “youth gangs”, groups of 10-20 men who disrupt the water parks and threaten patrons. 1. Cannonball Loop Ok, this one had to be at the top of the list.
Now, yes, it's not "in" the world anymore, but it was for a month, and from start to finish this waterslide was not only dangerous, it was potentially lethal, and yet the people who made it and ran the park didn't care. Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you...the Cannonball Loop. This abomination of good sense was located in 1985 at Action Park of Vernon Township.
If the look of the slide doesn't give you pause, then you need to study some science. But if that's still not enough, take a look at the park itself. Action Park of Vernon Township actually had a very dark history of abusing their customers (via their rides and slides).
And there had actually been 6 recorded deaths at the park, with many other people being seriously injured. Yet, did this stop them from making the most dangerous water slide ever? NOPE!
The problem with the Cannonball Loop is the loop itself. Now, yes, roller coaster rides and certain other amusement park rides have loops in them, but that's because they have enough speed to get you going fast enough to take the loop smoothly. The Cannonball Loop didn't have that. Even with the long buildup, it was a guarantee that people would get hurt. Yet, they didn't care, and they did whatever they could to get people on the slide.
Reports even came out that they bribed their own park workers with $100 to ride the ride. The brave few that did wouldn't go on it again. What's worse, the actual customers who went on the ride sometimes got stuck at the top of the loop, and an escape hatch had to be put in to ensure they could get out safely. Still not enough? Well, the construction of the waterslide made it so that sand could pool at the bottom of the slide, so anyone who went down it would get scratched by the sand, and the slide would have to be closed down for cleaning. Thankfully for everyone, the slide was closed down a month after opening.
Although most ironically of all, the park itself lasted for another 11 years, finally closing down in 1996. Thanks for watching! Have you ever tried any of these waterslides? Did you survive without injury? Let us know in the comments!
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Erica Rodes is a Yoga fan, ramen eater, fender owner, Saul Bass fan and Guest speaker. Producing at the fulcrum of minimalism and purpose to give life to your brand. Let's make every day successful!