Words with Strangers . . .
Words with Friends is my guilty pleasure. It satisfies my psyche on so many levels. My competitive side loves to clobber my opponents. I enjoy banter with friends as they laugh emoji style when they receive my “GRRRRR” messages indicating they are beating me. I’m a terrible loser. I can’t say that my vocabulary has improved but my killer instincts have. I show no mercy.
For years I played with real friends only, people I knew personally. When the app offered up new competitors to encourage more games I declined the invitation if I didn’t know the player. Eventually my competitive nature got the best of me and I started playing with strangers. Our skill levels were matched and the competition was great. Other than an occasional “Great Game!” There was no message chatter between us.
And then . . . very slowly . . . the offering of opponents started to change. The players’ profiles were not matched to my level of play at all AND they were all men. I was suspicious, believing they were Words with Friends stalkers creeping on women players. Clearly I’ve watched far too many episodes of Forensic Files and Dateline. And yet, I decided to give these players a chance. Maybe they were just trying to improve their game. It started innocently enough. They’d make the first move with some puny word and I would respond with an ass kicking 7 tile word making it nearly impossible for them to ever catch up. I was ruthless.
After a few more plays I thought “This guy isn’t even trying.”
Before I knew it every time I opened the app I had a several messages waiting for me, from strangers. They usually began with a simple “Hi” and I would respond with a “Hello.” However, once I opened the lines of communication things got weird. Messages like “How are you today beautiful?” What are you up to today pretty lady? Hey babe where are you playing from?”
When did Words with Friends become a dating app???
At first I was passive, ignoring what I thought was lame online flirting. I didn’t reply. I could have resigned but that would have impacted my player rating, a resignation is a loss. Did I mention how competitive I am? After enough ghosting on my part they would resign. While this was an effective strategy, I felt like a wimp. Instead of ignoring the messages I decided to cut them off as soon as they went beyond a polite greeting or discussion about the game itself. My responses ranged from “I don’t share my personal information to strangers” to “I’m not your babe.” Wow! This was a game changer.
They retorted, “I’m not going to hunt you down. I’m just being friendly. Don’t you want to be my friend. Okay if you don’t want to chat here, can we Skype or meet up?”
I repeated “NO, NO, NO!”
Some accused me of being judgmental and paranoid. After a few argumentative exchanges they resigned. I found myself wondering why in hell I was dealing with these idiots on a game app that was supposed to be fun. That got me thinking . . . Why do I think I owe a complete stranger an explanation of why I don’t want to chat on a game app? Why do I think I have to explain myself to anyone about anything?
I don’t. Period.
I moved forward with a new plan to test my theory that these folks had other motives. If I was in the middle of a game and my opponent asked a personal question I responded, “I don’t answer personal questions.” If they questioned my boundaries, I blocked any further discussion. They resigned immediately. If they said, “I get it. No problem.” I would continue to play. BUT they resigned too. Seems if I didn’t offer any Word with Friends benefits they weren’t interested.
Sooooooo . . . apparently Words with Friends does do double duty as a dating site, or at least a place where you can ask members of the opposite sex a lot of personal questions.
I am done playing with strangers. I no longer accept invitations from ANYONE I don’t know. AND I don’t have to explain myself to anyone.
Thanks for playing Friends. 🙂