Socializing in a Facebook era

There was a time when my addiction to the WordTwist game on Facebook affected mostly me. While Jason and I would challenge each other to a game once a day or so, I tended to play by myself – ‘ladder mode’ as the game calls it. So, really, the only person whose time I was wasting was my own. In addition to ignoring my children occasionally while playing, but that’s another story.

Eventually I got tired of mentally ‘twisting’ every word that came before me – or lying in bed at night randomly choosing words (beatle) and then (bat, beat, bale, let) until I finally fell asleep. But then my friend Vicky, who was previously mainly a ‘Scramble’ junkie, crossed over too. And we started challenging each other to games, here and there. As my circle of WordTwist friends widened, Jason got kind of jealous.

‘Why don’t you invite me? I want to play with the big kids, too’ was his basic argument. Later, as I was reading one of my Facebook friends’ ubiquitous ’25 random things’ lists, I discovered that he too was a bit of a word nerd. And, even though we had never exchanged more than a ‘hello’ or a courteous smile in person, it seemed like the obvious thing to do: to invite him to a WordTwist game with my fellow WordTwist junkies.

So I set up a challenge between him, my friend Vicky, Jason and me. And that’s when things went sort of pear-shaped as the British would say. Suddenly there were multiple matches a day. Each more intense than the last – at least in this house.

Nobody, it seemed, enjoyed losing.

I was in the kitchen one night while Jason was bent over his laptop. ‘Eat it Vicky, eat it!’ he yelled. To the laptop. Apparently he’d beaten Vicky in a game. The funny thing is, Jason has never MET Vicky. So listening to him ‘trash-talk’ a person he’s never even said hello to, was a bit much.

I sent her a message on Facebook, telling her about Jason’s little rant in the kitchen. And then I got an even brighter idea. ‘We should double-date sometime,’ I suggested to her.

By double date, I certainly wasn’t implying that Jason and I would fly to the greater Chicago area to meet up with her and her husband, also called Jason. Who has time or money, or social skills for that? No, I meant the four of us should play WordTwist against each other. Virtual socializing.

Because Vicky and Jason are perhaps the only couple I’m aware of (besides us) who will sit in the same room with their respective laptops, playing WordTwist against each other. It seemed like a match made in heaven.

But the problem was, that neither Vicky or I were ‘friends’ with the other’s husbands. Which made it impossible to set up a challenge between the four of us.

In order to double date, I’d have to break my very firm Facebook rule: Don’t ‘friend’ someone you haven’t had at least a conversation with. I swallowed my ‘pride’ and sent a friend request to the other Jason. With a pitiful message like: ‘I know we don’t actually know each other, but we can’t all play WordTwist together if we’re not ‘friends’.

Fortunately, he accepted.

And a fury of WordTwist activity was unleashed. And a lot of trash-talking too, though just the mental variety on my part. As I breezed through the first couple of rounds of a particular game, I quietly thought to myself: ‘I am really good at this….I’ve figured out the secret to unscrambling the ‘big’ words.’

My silent words weren’t yet cold, when I completely bombed the latter part of the game; unable to come up with the words ‘phallus’ or ‘claques’. I don’t even know what the latter word is. I finished that game dead last – fourth of four.

Last night as we were sitting in bed like an old married couple, WordTwisting instead of reading, Jason was dishing out the trash talk. This time to the other Jason, who’s triumphed a few too many times of late. ‘Eat it, Par’ he yelled as he tried to psych himself on to victory.

We maybe need to get lives, or a different hobby.

Or some local friends.

9 thoughts on “Socializing in a Facebook era

  1. Oh you should hear the conversations in our living/dining room these days. Jason yells from his laptop, “Damnit! Your friend Nicola is kicking my ass!” or occasionally, a gleeful, “Aha! I ROCK at Word Twist!” Because he of course, found both ‘claques’ and ‘phallus’ – and all manner of other words that I have missed of late. Which is why I keep hitting “rematch” because yes, I hate losing.

    What if all 4 of us did get together in person? Would our love of Word Twist and competitive spirits bring us all closer or would we have nothing to talk about except online word games? Would we retreat to different corners of one of our houses, all on our respective laptops, trash talking in person? Is that what socializing looks like these days? Or are we just all incredibly geeky?

    You’re not saying, are you, that the Word Twist marathons have to stop? I sure hope not. I mean, eventually, it’ll be above 9 degrees outside and we’ll all hopefully pursue other more movement-oriented pursuits…but for now, this is lovely. If a little demented…

  2. Ugh, did you see David beat me by one lousy point in a game? There’s also a lot of ‘eat it David’ at our house..complete with some kind of arm/hand victory wave – again, not by me.

    I mean, I may not be contributing to world peace in any way, shape or form…but we’re getting a little smarter aren’t we? And having some fun too…

    Ah, just looked up claques: a group of followers hired to applaud a performance…

  3. Every time I get full of my own word twist ability, I’ll inevitably miss the word “LEI” or “INN” or “GIN”, the ones that seem to pop up every round… and no matter how much I tell myself: “Jason, DON’T FORGET ‘INN'” I’ll miss it anyway.

    I remember claque because I typed it subconsciously without a prior idea of what it might mean… were it a word… and it was a word, when afterward I was watching the words of which I was un a ware. There’s a zen quality, where awareness and word-twisting begets loss. So winning and mastery means “shedding thought” instead of embracing it.

  4. Par Jason, you’re so smart, I’m not even sure I entirely understand the second paragraph! But yeah – may the best word-maker-upper win.

  5. Jason’s just trying to intimidate you both by pretending he’s all deep and smart. And he goes by “Jason,” not “Par” or “Par Jason” – wanted to make sure you could yell the appropriate name when you are screaming “Eat it!” 🙂

  6. I know he’s strictly Jason…but I figured for the comment section it would be easier to distinguish that way…better than Jason I or Jason II…though I think (my) Jason secretly likes calling him Par 🙂


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