It's not necessarily a bad thing to be called a nerd (there is computer nerds, gaming nerds, anime nerds). I am too kind of afraid to talk about anime, out in the public. Unless it is a friend that likes it of course. Nothing bad about keeping public image separate from online/internet. If you like something just keep it to yourself. I should have learned to do that through high school. Only thing I can think of is that anime gets obsessed with, and a high percentage of people just stay in their basement all day watching anime and playing video games. Maybe, that's why it has a bad image.