A phenomenon that's often struck me is that people assume that nerds have no concept of social norms or structure, and so it's perfectly okay to treat them as if they don't.
Let me tell you something. We do understand society, possibly better than most normal people.
But we think it's really stupid.
If the world functioned based on what brand lipstick you wear with what pair of shoes to match with perfectly styled hair and an airbrushed face, then let's face it, the human race would be dead by now. It seems to me that the world is supported by smart people who don't even get brownie points for what they do. But I understand why it's the standard we try and live by: because it's easy to manipulate. Beauty is ever changing and oh-so-subjective, and anyway, beauty you can fake, and pretty convincingly, too, what with all the new technology that (smart people) have been spewing out these days. If I wanted to (or, more accurately, if I had the money or the parents stupid enough to let me waste my life) I could change the very core of who I am and bluff my way through an image-based society, become one of the soulless airheads that we all seem to look up to.
But brains are harder to manufacture. There's no glamour in being brainy, because people have come to fear intelligence so much that the role of the academically gifted has come to be merely supporting ungrateful beautiful people we now call the social elite.
People are scared of opinions - if we go by the stereotype then beautiful people have no opinions of any significance, although the reality is that many of them do have some very strong and good opinions but feel forced to suppress them by society. Smart people have opinions - my whole blog is based on my own opinions, and I can spew out more than ten posts a day if I'm on a roll. People are scared of opinions and try and knock them down with snide comments and mean retorts that can make you feel like shit, I suppose. It's a gift that I do have, though.
It's social convention that makes me want to have a nice haircut, pluck my eyebrows, shave my legs, wear makeup. Even I'm buckling. It's amazing how something we create can get so wildly out of control.
Well, that's the view from the bottom, anyway.
It is actually quite hilarious, as an outsider rejected by the social hierarchy, to watch as people have to bite their tongue and force smiles in the name of this web that we've created for ourselves. People have no idea how fun it is to barge into a clique you know you have no hope in hell of being accepted into, just to see their reactions. Seriously, you should try it sometimes. It's exhilarating.