I am not the kind of person who tends to do popular things. I collect typewriters. I alternate my reading selections between fiction and non-fiction. Left to my own devices, I would almost certainly be found at home, either typing or reading. I tend to stay away from the "latest craze." I don't know if I could name anyone who recently won a Grammy or an Oscar. I still haven't seen Jaws or E.T., so I certainly could not tell you which--if any--of the Avengers are alive and well.
As you imagine, then, I don't play Wordle. I have nothing against Wordle, but I don't play. I have played, but when I did it was several years ago in my classroom. The students and I were playing "Hangman" during some free time and another student said, "Hey, I know a game!" and proceeded to tell us how every word had five letters. He would put a circle around a letter if it belonged somewhere in that word, and a square around it if it belonged in exactly that spot in the word. It filled about 15 minutes of my day, and then it disappeared.
Now, of course, it's everywhere. A bunch of my Facebook friends are posting their results for the day, with a "3/6" or something next to it (if you don't play, that means they solved it in three out of a possible six attempts). They seem to enjoy it. It seems to make them happy.
I also see a growing Wordle backlash, and this is something I don't quite understand. Some of those I know on social media seem annoyed--and in some cases actually offended--when others post their Wordle results. Some have gone so far as to comment and say things like, "No one cares!" A few have even gone so far as to create posts about it, and thus far all of those posts I have seen are along the lines of, "Stop putting your Wordle results on your feed! No one needs to see that shit!"
Obviously, social media can be used to connect us, and it can be used to divide us. I estimate that about three of every ten people who have asked to be my Facebook friend over the years have gone on to dump that friendship over something I posted about politics. And certainly, we can and do have friends--both online and in real life--whose opinions differ from our own, and sometimes we take to Facebook or other social media to vent about those opinions.
But, c'mon... over Wordle?
Politics, I understand. Abortion rights, I can understand. Even loyalty to certain sports teams or taste in music, I can understand. I don't always like the conflict (even conflict I help create), but there are issues in America and in the world where vocal disagreement seems to be part of the process. But who bashes someone else--someone who, allegedly, is supposed to be a friend--over playing a word game? Are we getting so used to being divided about things that we have to invent new things to divide us?
Wordle-bashing is kind of silly, in my opinion, on two fronts. First of all, it's just a game, and like any game out there, if you don't enjoy it, you don't have to play. You could disengage from the process entirely, and we'd all probably be better for it. I don't play Wordle, but I also don't see the point in purposely taking time out of my day to bash others who play Wordle. I might humbly suggest that there's little to no point in you taking that time, either.
Secondly -- and this one goes out to all the Wordle-bashers in the world: Where have you been? What have you been doing before now with all this pent-up rage you seem to carry inside of you? Were you griping about those who did crossword puzzles? Word searches, maybe? Did those Sudoku-loving S.O.B's just somehow make your blood boil? Knitters, maybe -- how does anyone "Pearl Two" anyway, and what is up with those needles? Those who crochet, perhaps? They can't even operate a knitting needle, for crying out loud! And by God, don't get me started on embroidery!
Folks, we've got enough trouble in the world without peeing on someone's picnic just because they play word games. If you can't stand Wordle, just ignore it. I can't stand beets, but I don't go online to bitch about them; I just don't eat beets.
So please, Wordle-bashers, do the rest of us--and yourselves--a favor, and calm down. It's a word game. A person you claim as a friend seems to enjoy it. It gives them a sense of accomplishment. It makes them happy, and shouldn't we all want our friends to be happy?
If solving a Wordle puzzle brings joy to someone I value and count as a friend, good for them. It has nothing to do with me, so I'll just be over here minding my own business. Solving a Wordle, for them, is one of life's little victories, but we could all use a victory now and again, no matter the size.
So calm down, Wordle-bashers. Find your own happy. Maybe do a jigsaw puzzle; when you finish, we'll even let you put a picture of it online.