The chime has undeniable allure. My phone is only two feet away. I’ve got a triple word PUTZ all lined up for this next play, but I’m frozen with fear. She’s talking, about something, and if I reach for that phone and play that word, she’s going to punch me in the face.
My name is Matt, and I can’t stop playing Words With Friends (WWF).
Like all red-blooded Americans under 40, my phone has been surgically attached to my soul. I’m on that phone every waking moment, doing something, anything, and 90 percent of that time is currently dedicated to dropping rack-clearing monster words on my unsuspecting state-school friends. They then text me jejune retorts like “C’mon, that’s BS!” and “What the heck is IBEX?????”
I play for an hour before bed, in bed. I dream in little square letters, and then I instinctively reach for my phone upon waking and unleash my linguistic aplomb upon multiple opponents. I then continue to play in the bathroom, on the walk to the garage, while driving (not recommended, unless you’re about to unleash a 99-point QATS), while working, while eating, while doing just about everything.
That’s the beauty of WWF, and all apps for that matter. We can “productively” fill the many two-minute voids in our day. For the logophiles among us, WWF transforms us into focused, patient superhumans. We can better tolerate lines, droning conference calls, inane conversations with partners…
That’s the sound of her fist fracturing my eye socket. Unpleasant at best. Who would have thought, in this day and age, that another human being would actually expect my undivided love and attention?
I have a friend. Let’s call him Alec. Not that one; this guy is Asian. He’s in the same boat I am. His wife is at her wit’s end, and has threatened to abandon the marriage if he doesn’t remove Words With Friends from his phone.
And the two of us are hardly alone. Ever since our two significant others discovered their shared disdain for our dorky obsession, I’ve polled my other playing partners and business associates. Many are also suffering from that basic human need to be slightly smarter and better than another, manifested in a mesmerizing array of digital letters on a colorful, sensual virtual board. This basic human need is trumping that other basic human need, to the sincere displeasure of their mates.
You can see, dear readers, that this is serious business, this Words With Friends. It was meant to bring us together, but it’s tearing us apart.
I propose the richest of we vocabulary nerds (I’m talking to you, that Alec) buy a beautiful island in the South Pacific, to where we can permanently retreat to drop mad words in peace. Our island will have all we need—our phones, solid 3G reception, some sort of power supply, and coconuts.
What do you say, Baldwin? In any case, I’m MRHODES01, and I’m coming for you, broken face and all.