Sometimes, it just pays to be dumb.
That’s what a 22-year-old anonymous young man -- let’s call him Bob -- told a group of DJs on a morning radio show earlier this week, as he bemoaned the fact that he constantly had to “dumb down” when trying to date girls or when hanging out with friends.
Girls don’t like nerds, Bob said, and smart guys are always picked on by the more popular guys.
“And I’m not trying to be a lame with no girls,” he added.
As expected, his statements launched a flurry of follow-up phone calls to the radio station. Some people, mostly women who were nearly twice his age, called him stupid, an idiot, a follower and shallow.
But surprisingly, most of the young male callers agreed with him, saying that it’s nearly impossible to fit in with a group of guys or find a potential mate when people view you as an intellectual.
One caller, a college-bound self-proclaimed good guy, even went as far as saying, “I’m thinking that I should just invest in a leather jacket instead.”
To be honest, I could actually see where the young men were coming from.
While I can’t say that I’ve ever felt the need to “play dumb,” I can certainly remember times in high school when I was embarrassed after making a good grade on a test or wouldn’t tell other students that I was actually doing my homework at night -- simply because I just wanted to fit in with everyone else.
But like I said, that was high school. I find it hard to believe that men and women haven’t grown up or matured past that mindset.
But after listening to the radio show a few days ago, I’m guessing they haven’t.
Unfortunately, as a friend of mine said recently, we still live in a society that does not prize intellectuals.
Our society is one in which even the most educated or street-savvy women turn into giggling hair-flipping schoolgirls when flirting with a guy at a bar.
A society where respectable good guys, in an effort to prove their masculinity, suddenly morph into trash-talking meatheads in front of other guys and women.
And a world where the famous-for-no-reason celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, garner much more hits on Google than the President of the United States.
But if there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that lowering your standards, or even being ashamed of your intelligence or accomplishments, doesn’t just make you look stupid.
It is stupid.
Why would you want to be around people who wouldn’t want to see you succeed and live to your potential?
Never give someone so much power over your own life that you are so willing to toss aside your self-worth for nothing more than companionship.
Besides, I can’t think of one thing that is lamer than pretending to be dumb.