Beth Nilssen
August 9, 2022 / Great Advice

Do you WORDLE?

Do you WORDLE? I don’t. I see all the score boxes posted on Facebook every day and think—for maybe five seconds—that I should consider participating, but the thought passes quickly because, honestly, I just don’t want to get sucked into one more addictive activity. (Not that I have those tendencies. Nope, not me.)

WORDLE, for those living under a rock or not subjected to daily Facebook brag postings, is a simple five-letter puzzle in which the object is to guess the word of the day in fewer than six guesses. The gold standard is to hit the mark on the first or second try (though, with the way the game is set up, getting the word in one is merely a lucky guess, not any indication of brilliance).

Some people have strategies, like starting with the word “adieu,” which gives a good chance of placing vowels. If the word you choose has correct letters, they show up as green on the color-coded five-box chart. If they aren’t in the correct position, they show as yellow. Brooklyn software engineer Josh Wardle created the game and sold it recently to the New York Times.

So what’s my point? Stick with me; I do have one, and it even relates to many of things we talk about here—engaging employees, celebrating accomplishments, running a successful business. 

Here’s what I’m thinking: Fans of WORDLE say it’s a way to connect with others on a common endeavor and even brag a little about our success. Isn’t that often one of the foundations of a healthy business—sharing our achievements and frustrations to create a common bond? Maybe commiserating over WORDLE outcomes feeds that need and is helping to build community.

Not to mention, there is a lot of research that doing crossword puzzles or playing Scrabble improves memory, attention, the executive function of the brain and information processing. A 2019 study found that people aged 50 to 93 years who reported frequently completing word puzzles had statistically better brain function than those who never or only occasionally played word games.

Because WORDLE is so new, the evidence regarding WORDLE’s brain-training benefits isn’t all that strong. But what neurobiologists do agree is that WORDLE probably improves mood by providing a boost of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked with feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. 

“That can color your day in a positive way,” says Michael Yassa, professor and director of the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine. “Playing the game also gets your problem-solving skills going.” 

And posting—okay, bragging—about it on social media contributes to well-being, too. “Social interactions are good for our brain,” says Yassa. 

So, okay, go ahead and share your score—ignore the naysayers like me who poo-poo the game. If your Facebook friends complain, point out that being part of a community definitely contributes to brain health and even improves memory. 

Oh, by the way, in looking into the benefits of WORDLE, I found research that says the best way to develop a healthy brain is this: Exercise. Hmm, WORDLE is looking better every day. (And if I do start playing, I know what five-letter word I’m going to start with: GREAT, of course!)

Beth Nilssen 
Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]

Contact me if you want to know more about what it’s like to invest in a Great Clips franchise—or if you simply want to share your secrets for winning at WORDLE! Give me a call today.

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on August 9, 2022
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