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Words With Friends - Why?

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing


Many of you have probably played, or do play, the Facebook/Zynga game Words With Friends, or currently Words With Friends 2. If so you'll know all about it, if not, well it is like a shortened version of Scrabble .. smaller board, less tiles.. and it can be addictive. I currently have 17 games in progress and that doesn't include the Solo Challenge.

Like most of the Facebook/Zynga games there are incentives and goals to achieve, and extras to purchase to improve your chances of winning if you are that gullible. I admit the speed of the games and the fact you can play against multiple opponents so that you always have a turn coming up while waiting for others to play is appealing. I was always a fan of board games like Scrabble and Monopoly but they did sometime take hours, and now there are quick short versions of both of them and others .. and online even.

This is just another example of the need for our society to make everything faster and easier, catering for busy lifestyles and shortening attention spans. Is it good or bad, that's not for me to say, but this poem expresses my opinion.

Words With Friends - Why?

Words With Friends, the latest craze

Or a shortened Scrabble clone

Reinvented for a fast paced society

Developing short attention spans.

Short and sweet now the norm

With almost everything we do.

Internet inoculation,

Time is money, don’t waste it.

Have the information on tap, Google it!

Find an answer to everything, or nothing.

Reading is changing - goodbye novels, welcome flash fiction.

Is intelligence suffering? Time will tell.

Epidemic of impatience spreading,

No more taking time to smell the roses.

Distractions all around us, multitask or perish.

Some words no longer valid words, or so it seems,

While others are accepted that appear in no other dictionary.

How does an old dog learn new tricks?

Yesterday just seems so far away.

A typical Words With Friends game

A typical Words With Friends game

© 2019 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 24, 2019:

Thank you for reading. Mel. You bring up a good point about baseball dying due to people not having the patience to watch a pitcher go about his routine. Actually, in some sports they have developed faster shorter games to cater for this. Cricket, where a test match is played over generally three days (occasionally more) now has one day games and 20/20 (20 overs each side). I know that may be all Greek if you don’t know cricket. Tennis has also been experimenting with a shortened form that doesn’t replay lets, has no tie breakers, and only best of three sets. I personally don’t like it but others probably do. They have a tournament in Australia every year preceding the Australian Open.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on August 24, 2019:

Brilliant poem. I have never tried Words with Friends and I doubt I will, because Lord knows I don´t need any other distractions, and this sounds like something that could be addicting. Video games in general make you yawn, but cerebral ones like this can be fun.

You are correct to bemoan the demise of the modern attention span. Everything today is about instant gratification. Our national pastime baseball is dying because people don´t want to watch the pitcher stand there with the ball in his hand, doing nothing for extended periods, whereas I find it mesmerizing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 14, 2019:

Haha, thanks Lawrence. No, definitely keep reading and writing those novels.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on August 14, 2019:


Very cleverly done, but no way am I giving up my novels

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 22, 2019:

Hi Shauna. Fortunately you can also download the Words With Friends app. to your tablet of phone so you don’t even have to be on Facebook though it does link with your friends on there who play etc. I am an old dog and I learnt a few new tricks lol.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 22, 2019:

I've never heard of the game, John. But then, I'm rarely on FB. Guess this old dog still has time to learn new tricks, huh?

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2019:

Alyssa I have to agree with you 100% about all the non words that are allowed but other legitimate words that aren't recognized. It gets frustrating at times especially because I never use a dictionary.

Oh there is a new range of card games out that include Monopoly. I have played it a few times and it's quick but still fun.

Alyssa from Ohio on July 15, 2019:

This used to be one of my favorite games to play, but I got tired of random, non words that were not only allowed, but racked up tons of points. I love a good game of scrabble or Monopoly.. Unfortunately, our Scrabble game doesn't have all of the letters to it anymore, so I use that for my holiday decorations, but my son and I love Monopoly! Awesome acrostic poem! Have a wonderful week!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2019:

Shyron thank you or that comment and or being one o my friends I play against. How about you let me win one day lol.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 15, 2019:

Word with friends, here is how it begins

You make a word with tiles provided

With a friend that you've invited

To spell a work with seven tiles

Can really be exciting

Thanks for making me one of those that you've invited

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 14, 2019:

Hello Madeline. Glad you could relate to this and enjoyed the read. Yes, I think inevitably there will be a movement away from social media and the like with people trying to recapture their independence and a simpler lifestyle, hence becoming less materialistic. As with you, this may have already started.

Madeleine Clays on July 14, 2019:

I loved reading this. How true it is that everybody wants things fast these days. We have become so impatient and out of touch with even our own feelings. The internet is both a blessing and a curse, as it brings people closer but also distances them. I think that more people are choosing to step away from social media and materialistic pursuits in favor of a simpler life. I am one of them! Thank you for a refreshing poem and article.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 09, 2019:

Chitrangada, you make some very good points. I hadn’t really thought about the younger generation/ generations even, not having experienced life they way us older folk have, so they have nothing to compare the current way of life against. Yes, like everything, there are pros and cons. The advances in technology are incredible and would have been unthought of even 50 years ago.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 09, 2019:

Interesting poem, representing the present times, in which we are living. I enjoyed reading it. This is so relatable.

I believe, we belong to a generation, which has seen the earlier times, as well as the present times. That’s why, we can compare and see the difference. The younger generation may not think like us. This is their way of life. While there are some negatives, there are many positives.

Thanks for sharing this excellent and interesting hub!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 09, 2019:

Thank you Nithya, yes that is exactly what I was trying to express here.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 09, 2019:

Thank you Asad, much appreciated.

Asad Dillz Khan from United Kingdom on July 09, 2019:

Very amazing and interesting poem poetry John! I really like your poem!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 09, 2019:

Your poem brings out the situation that exists today. Everything is so fast paced nowadays and life has become a blur.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2019:

I am glad you can relate Randi, and that you enjoy playing Words With Friends. Thanks for reading and commenting.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2019:

Hi Linda, yes it is addictive once you get into it. Thanks for reading my poem.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on July 07, 2019:

I enjoyed this and can't disagree. Wverything we do is closer, faster and way mire instant! But I do enjoy my Words with Friends! I okay with a few hubbers, including Bill. We used to have several games going at the same time!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 07, 2019:

I've never heard of Words With Friends, but it sounds like an interesting game. Your poem contains some thought-provoking lines.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Thanks for reading MsDora. Bill Holland and I both play Words With Friends so it can’t be all bad lol.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 07, 2019:

Not a game player, but Words with Friends sounds interesting. Thanks for introducing it. The poem is excellent. My favorite line is "Is intelligence suffering? Time will tell." Good question. Good answer!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

I know what you mean Linda. I still like doing crosswords with pen and paper too. You also spend so much time cooking..a much worthier pursuit. Glad you enjoyed my message though. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Thank you for liking my “acrostic” poem, Elijah. Lol

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Yes, Ruby, these online games are designed to get us hooked. I always loved old school Scrabble...still have the board and dictionary but no one has the time to sit down and play.. which is sad. Haha at looking for weird words so your opponent would challenge.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 07, 2019:

John, I don't play online games (I already spend waaay too much time on the computer). I'm so old school it's pathetic. I do the daily crossword (in the newspaper) in ink. That's my claim to fame LOL.

I really like this poem because it speaks of this fast-paced society we find ourselves in the midst of. We can't seem to just disconnect, unwind, and relax anymore.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on July 07, 2019:

I don't play any online games anymore but I really like your (I forgot how it's called) poem.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 07, 2019:

I am so hooked on Spider Solitaire. I must beat it or I'm going to die trying. I belonged to a Scrabble club. We met once a week. I would scour the dictionary for little known words to have the group challenge so they would lose their turn. I enjoyed your poetry.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Hi Bill, yes I agree it is a good way to wind down. We have played each other a few times but not for quite some time. We will have to start a new game soon.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2019:

John, how is it that you and I haven't played each other. Words is my way of winding down at night. I have thirty games going and I hate to admit it, but I love it. :)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Flourish, I don’t know how I have that many games going..well, yes I do..every time one finishes you get a request from your opponent to start another. I need to start declining.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Hi Pamela. It is the only game Play but I think I have to try to reduce the number of games I have going. I appreciate your comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 07, 2019:

I enjoy words but have never done the crossword thing. I like your poem. Can’t imagine having that many games going at once and finding it anything but stressful!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 07, 2019:

I certainly agree about the fast-paced time we live in these days. I use to play some game on Facebook but haven't in a couple of years. Of course, I have a tablet full of games that I do use, but not to excess. I thought your poem was very clever and to the point.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Hi Liz, I knew everyone wouldn’t be familiar wit it but there are a lot who are. I am never short of finding opponents. I am glad the poem and introduction gave a clear insight and expressed my message.

Liz Westwood from UK on July 07, 2019:

I have not come across this game before, but your introduction gives a good explanation. Your skilfully constructed poem offers an interesting and inciteful commentary on the times we live in.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Hello Li-Jen, thanks for the great comment. Yes, I agree we do seem to be turning into robots in a number of ways. No time to take things slowly.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2019:

Hi Venkatachari. I really enjoy doing crossword puzzles and often buy books of them, however since someone invited me to play Words With Friends I find myself playing it whenever I have some spare time. If you don’t play for a few days you get prompted by opponents. Thanks for reading and sharing how you spend your time.

Li-Jen Hew on July 07, 2019:

Hi Jodah, that's true. Fast paced society. It's like we are becoming robots haha. Novel to flash fiction..nice observation. Interesting poem. Thanks for sharing!

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on July 07, 2019:

Something very interesting here. I never play these games online. Very occasionally, I may indulge in solving the word puzzles in the newspapers. Previously I used to attempt every week the puzzles. But, presently I do not spare time for those things. I keep reading novels daily for 40 minutes or so and the newspaper columns for another 30 minutes or so. That's all I do besides this internet browsing for a couple of time.

Thanks for sharing this nice information. I enjoyed the poem.

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