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The Creeps of Social Media

May 13th, 2018 | in Social Media, Business, Internet Marketing |    16   comments
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I don't spend every waking moment on social media, but I do spend a few minutes looking at Facebook and Twitter every day. I look at Instagram even more briefly than that. Words with Friends gets more attention. I play Words with Friends, an app that closely resembles Scrabble, every day. A lot.

I cannot understand all the strange people that try to start conversations. I don't mean people who legitimately want to talk to me about quilting or dog rescue or writing. I mean mostly men, who start out with "You are so beautiful."


I have about 300 friends on Facebook. Everyone is not a close friend, but they are people that I know through other friends or hobbies. I do not "friend" people on Facebook randomly. I friend people that I'm interested in talking to or connecting with. I do not "friend" strangers.

So, when I get friend requests from strangers, I look to see if we share mutual friends. If we share more than one mutual friend, and I like the mutual friend, then I'll accept it. If we don't share mutual friends, then I usually ignore it. Sometimes I'll message them and ask, "do I know you?"

Who are these strangers trying to friend me or start a conversation? I notice that they usually have several things in common: they are usually men, usually with a relatively new account (< 6 months), usually they *say* they are working abroad or are abroad and in the military. They say they are divorced or widowed. I don't believe a word of it. What I don't understand is what are they trying to accomplish? Swindle money?

I am not a celebrity, and I am not beautiful. Okay, maybe beautiful inside. But not outside. I have no illusions about that. I'm not so ugly that I would knock a buzzard off a shit wagon, but I'm not beautiful and never was. I used to be moderately attractive when I was young, and there was once an older gentleman in France who told me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. But that was an exception, one that I obviously still remember because it was so rare and so touching. I was prematurely grey, and all grey-haired by the age of 30.

This is what I look like today (on a very good day with a very good photographer):


This is what I looked like in 1984, pictured with my father. 


So, if someone starts their conversation with "you are so beautiful," my BS detector starts beeping. I don't block people willy nilly, but if I'm absolutely sure it's a weirdo that I have no connection with, then bye bye.

Word with Friends

Words with Friends is more problematic because I play a lot, and I like to play. I also watch my statistics carefully, and if you block someone in the middle of a game, it counts as your loss, which royally pisses me off, and I've let WWF know that.

So, if a random person tries to start a game with me, I will usually accept the game. But that may change soon because I'm getting a lot of weirdos in WWF lately. It starts with being asked to play by a stranger. Okay. It's a guy. Okay, but my BS meter is turned on. His scoring average is significantly below mine. That's a bad sign. I'm fine with playing with people who play less well, but most people try to play with people who have similar scoring averages (plus/minus 2 points.)

Then we start playing and after the first move, he sends me a private message. Hint: WWF etiquette is to talk with your playing partners minimally. "Merry Christmas" is fine. "Wow, great word" for a 5000 point word is fine. "You're beautiful" is not okay. I'm here to play scrabble. Because I love it. Because I'm a wordsmith. Because I'm a writer. Because I read the dictionary for fun. I'm not on WWF to meet men. I'm happily married. I'm busy. Ain't nobody got time for that crap. This may sound odd, but I'm on WWF to play WWF.

So, as soon as the person is sending me private messages every round, I have to block them. I hate blocking people, but I do it. A lot. I actually play with a number of people that I know in real life including my brother, a couple of childhood friends, a dog rescue friend, and a writer friend (who consistently wipes the floor with me.) I've been playing with a lady bookkeeper for two years who is a stranger to me in real life. We've passed maybe 50 words in that time by private messaging. I'm fine with talking by private messaging. But not if you want to talk about how beautiful I am.

I also had to block one guy who wanted to send me messages about how terrific Trump is. I am not a fan of President Trump, and the last thing I want to hear about while playing scrabble is politics.

So, if any of my readers can enlighten me about who these people are who are trying to connect, trying to sweet talk me, and trying to establish a relationship and what they want. I'm all ears. Because I can't figure it out.

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September 6th, 2019

It is a scam. They target women over 40. Eventually ask for money. Zynga has it on the website to beware of this.

August 29th, 2019

I went on Google tonight to find out if there is some new trend with WWF as a "dating site," because I've had so many recent new games initiated by guys also trying to start convos. Great article. My profile resembles yours almost completely, down to finding x-mas well wishes and the occasional "nice play," appropriate dialogue. Otherwise, play the game and go back to your life. Thank you for the affirming post!

August 29th, 2019

I found this by searching creeps on Words with friends and am so happy to find that this isn’t just happening with me! I started to play the game a month ago and have had to deal with 4 men who come to play with in my language (Portuguese) but keep asking weird things in a very bad English.
At first, I was trying to be nice, but now it’s just beginning to piss me off really. I just want to play the game, I don’t wanna date a guy who is old enough to be my father.

Barbara Burke
August 15th, 2019

I have been plagued with men who all seem to have the same story being a widow, well-educated World traveled etcetera and of course they live 2500 miles away from me who want to talk and recently I had one who wanted me to set up Skype who wanted my phone number. I usually don't talk with them and some time ago I changed my picture to my two cats so they don't even know what I look like now, but I would really like to know what they really want. The same day I question one, another suspicious guy who had started a game with me and we had played a couple of rounds resigned. We both had approximately the same score I could not acertain any reason for it other than I was questioning this other guy. I cannot even imagine what these people are after. I guess the question is what can they do with your phone number which I would never give, by the way, and why are they doing this? I told the guy you don't even know what I look like! You are looking at my two cats and hitting on me! Why???
If anybody can tell me what this about, I would really like to know!

July 24th, 2019

Lately I’ve been wondering if it’s some kind of bot and not real guys. Always starts with hi! Then where are you from? When I reply “where we are from is on our wwf profile page.” They’ll repeat the question.

It’s annoying because I just want to play the game. I don’t mind normal conversations but they’re aggressively creepy.

July 6th, 2019

I’m a new played on WWF. Love the game. Love words! Love to read! A guy just blocked me because he asked me what I was looking for on WWF and I told him, just playin’ the game. He told me he’s widowed and looking for a good God fearing woman. I told him there’s dating sites for that. Guess he didn’t like my answer! LOL.

June 29th, 2019

It’s not just men scamming on women in WWF. I’ve accepted game requests from players whose profile pictures show a beautiful 20-something and who quickly start flirtatious chats. I’m an overweight 50 year old and my profile picture is of me with my wife and children. Any chats beyond an introductory hello and where are you and I block them.

May 25th, 2019

It is becoming so frustrating on Word as the level of harassment has increased. What can be done?

April 22nd, 2019

How do I check my word averages? It shows me other prospective player’s but not my own.

April 20th, 2019

OMG, you made me feel much better about weirdo chatting while just trying to enjoy WWF. I am a newcomer to game and enjoy trying to improve. I accept games with strangers but was starting to wonder if I was being a prude. Twice (both men) wanted to message. Things like “what are you doing right now?” Maybe innocent but feels wierd. I love your comments. You made me laugh. I will continue to play and lose horribly—and block weirdos.

April 6th, 2019

I was searching this topic because I just can’t believe how many do the same crap to me! I don’t get it! Sometimes they get mad when I don’t respond and will block me (don’t care). They’ll be pushy with two or three messages in a short amount of time. I’m as friendly as they come in real life, but to have at least one stranger a day start a convo with me just baffles me! Like you said a lot are ex military , recently divorced. It wasn’t always this way. I’ve felt that within the last five years , more men have been using that platform to meet people. They use it as a free dating site. Thanks for your post , it is refreshing to know that I’m not alone. Even more peculiar, i knew there had to be someone else out there who has experienced the same situation as me.

March 25th, 2019

All you do is type “chat off” next to your username or real name. If they keep messaging you, ignore them til they resign. That’s the only way it will work. I have the same ongoing issue.

March 20th, 2019

Yes! I get this all the time too! I’ll also notice that their English is not great. Then they’ll ask for a phone number, to talk on google hangout or WhatsApp. I chatted on WWF to try and see what they want and I keep it simple, but once they ask for another form of communication I say “No thank you.” Sometimes they will continue to play and other times they’ll block me. Interested to see other feedback. I found your blog when I googled “creeps on wwf”

March 5th, 2019

If you ever figure it out, I’d like to know the answer, as well. I’ve had the same experience with numerous men — widowed, divorced, almost always working abroad, or traveling on business, want my email address and phone number, or want to connect on Hangout. When I quit chatting, they become irritated and persist in numerous “Hellos” “Are you there?” “Why aren’t you answering me?” Another thing they have in common is very poor writing skills and sentence structure. Always puzzling since they claim to be well-educated...strange.

February 7th, 2019

Ahhh! I know that exact scenario. I hate hate hate when it’s someone I’ve had numerous good matches with and then out of nowhere they start sending, “your hair is sexy” kind of messages! Like, gees. Bums me out because i was really excited to find someone to have good matches with. Why must it be ruined?! :( people are creeps.

December 3rd, 2018

Dear Cynthia, I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog, if that's what this is. My username on WWF is ladypop. I have very similar experiences with these creeps as you have referred to them. I am always polite and never block them however. If you try this technique they will go away. Since I am smarter than the average fool, (or at least believe that I am) I've become quite good at detecting which ones are looking for a date etc. More interesting however is that their command of the English language doesn't match up to their photograph which doesn't belong to them. Many are foreign and sound like they belong to a Nigerian or other notorious scam operation.
Recently, I tried writing several guys back in Italian, Dutch, German etc. and stumped them in their own tracks. I just carry on like the old detective Peter Falk played in the tv show Colombo. I have many more thoughts and ideas about why this is happening but don't have time right now to punch this out with my finger on an IPhone. I could give you more of my thoughts later if you like, but in the meantime if you want a WWF's friend who loves to play I'd be happy to oblige.

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