Earlier this morning, I read a piece about Wordle in the New York Times and decided to find more articles about the red-hot word game. Even Google has an easter egg that would make you believe: Wordle is a cultural phenomenon. 

But why?

Matt Baldwin, a social psychology professor at the University of Florida, offers six reasons why we Wordle

  1. An “Aha” moment, even when you lose.
  2. A pleasurable relief from pandemic-related negativity.
  3. It is bingeproof.
  4. It is a shared experience. 
  5. An opportunity for social comparison
  6. Everyone is doing it & we want to be in the herd.

“Sharing it on Twitter is a way of saying like, ‘look at me, I’m also doing Wordle just like everyone else.’ That makes me a good group member. Shared experiences give a lot of meaning to life,” Baldwin noted in the article. “They help us orient toward what’s good, what’s meaningful and what’s worthwhile.”

Wordle, in many ways, is reminiscent of the “ice-bucket challenge” when we forgot our differences and got behind a worthy cause. 

January 24, 2021. San Francisco