The Wordle Wonder: Can We Finally Admit Failure on Social Media?

I don’t play Wordle, and I have no intention to, which is probably why it was so annoying that everyone started cluttering up my Twitter feed with their daily scores. Now, I see a brilliant change of course coming in the ocean of Internet positivity that glosses over failures as challenges. Can we finally admit when we don’t have a yacht with a butler, an emotional filter for every mood, and a dance that hides our riptide of worries? Can we finally admit when we are in dingy going the wrong way into a storm?

This is what we see clogging (or unifying, depending on how you feel about it) our feeds today. At first it was a series of colorful boxes that made no sense. We had to see what it was, right? I’ve been a gamer since my dad first brought home a Compaq computer the size of a luggage case in the early 80s, yet I have no desire to play one round of Wheel for Fortune daily under the guise of a cute name like Wordle.

Then it became annoying as everyone was posting it. I play five games a day but have you ever seen me post a score? No, because it’s annoying (to easily annoyed people like me). I want my Twitter to have stories and facts and videos that make me cry with memes that make me laugh, not some colored boxes that are only digestible if you are in that “club”.

Is Wordle the True North?

Social media allows us to pick and choose what we show the world. Even in our failures, we use phrases like “Prayers are appreciated as I journey into an unknown world..” or “I’m taking this time off work to better myself..” and “I will now get a chance to find real love..” We can turn sad times into emotionally invigorating moments. We can parlay a job loss into a new career. We never post about the times we are in the fetal position crying. We don’t do TikTok videos before a layer of contour, foundation, fake eyelashes, and extensions are perfectly placed.

Wordle changes the game. When people don’t get it right, they post it. There’s no “In a lesson that is part of a lifetime of learning.. I realized this today” with the Wordle post.

No. They just do this.

If you see up to six lines that aren’t all green, the person failed. Not only do they post it, they don’t think twice. They don’t care they are admitting failure, because they are in a world where everyone is experiencing the same Wordle challenge. A thing they had ONE shot at today and they missed the mark. How many of those things happen in our lives each day, in between the perfect Instagram lunch shot, that we never tell anyone about?

Nobody comes back from a meeting with department managers and Tweets “I just asked the dumbest question in a meeting, and everyone laughed at me.”

But Wordle makes it okay. It also offers no sympathies or blame. Nobody writes, “If my colleagues weren’t so lazy, I wouldn’t have so much work and I could have done better with Wordle” or “I’m so stressed about finances and if I had more money I could be better at Wordle.” People own their role in the Wordle puzzle, for better or for worse.

No, it’s just a raw “I Failed” or “That was hard.”

Wordle & Rough Waters

Can we take note of this phenomenon and apply it elsewhere? Can we stop talking about how a “blessing was a curse” and just say “I failed at my current job. I am looking for a new one where I can succeed” or “That relationship was hard. I’m finding one that isn’t so hard.”?

Even my own cynicism of Wordle is dwindling as I see this beautiful, honest, raw moment that comes with people who can’t string together five letters into a word. Even the smallest battles can be mighty ones.

Be more like Wordle every day. Accept the losses and celebrate the wins with the same tenacity. In a society where we crave authenticity in people, places, and things β€” Wordle might be the only authentic thing out there.

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