Words with Friends is a mobile game that is celebrating its eighth birthday this year, and it's become a go-to hobby for a rising number of smartphone users. It's comparable to an interactive Scrabble, allowing players to go against other players across town and around the globe. The developer of the game — the company Zynga — just released a new version, with even more perks and word-building power. The newest version even has an improved "Social Dictionary," allowing words such as turntto qualify for points. One young man from Harlem has taken a liking to the game, and it has led him acquiring the most unusual friendship.
Twenty-two-year-old Spencer Sleyon is like any other young adult. Other than working on becoming an aspiring rapper, this Harlem resident spends a ton of time on his smartphone. He is especially fond of the Words with Friends game, and he began playing for hours on end. He was always looking to beat his high score, and he found himself constantly competing with one player in particular.
Over the course of a year, Sleyon began competing against an 81-year-old woman from Florida named Rosalind "Roz" Guttman. These two gamers played a total of 324 rounds of Words with Friends together, and over time they began messaging back and forth about themselves and their lives. It wasn't until Sleyon began talking to his friends about this uncommon friendship that things took an even sweeter turn.
A Friend's Mom Caught Wind Of This Adorable Friendship
The mother of one of Sleyon's friends — Amy Butler — heard about his online friendship with an 81-year-old woman, and she decided to grant them the chance to meet in person. Butler — who is a pastor at Manhattan's Riverside Church — recently bought herself and Sleyon plane tickets to West Palm Beach, Florida to meet his Words with Friends pal.
Butler Tweeted Her Excitement About This Adorable Meet-Up
The pastor tweeted a picture of her and 22-year-old Sleyon sitting on the plane, and she shared some touching words. "She's 86 & lives in a retirement community in Florida. He's 22 and lives in Harlem. They met online playing #wordswithfriends. Tomorrow they'll meet in person. I get to be there. #relationshipschangeus," she tweeted. Seeing this friendship come alive in-person was nothing short of mesmerizing.
"It was more beautiful than I could have even imagined," Butler stated once Sleyon and Guttman saw each other face to face. Even though it is hard to imagine a 22-year-old and a senior citizen having much in common, Butler stated that these two acted as if they have known each other forever. Their brief interaction was meaningful and beyond sweet.
Sleyon and Guttman did not show any sign of discomfort upon meeting each other, probably because they have become so close from their constant gaming and chatting. "There was no hint of awkwardness. It was like they were magnetically drawn to each other," Butler stated. Although these two friends didn't have a lot of time together, they made the most of it.
Guttman treated Sleyon to a bite to eat and a tour around Palm Beach before he had to get back to New York. Sleyon wanted to share his happiness by tweeting pictures of his trip to Florida and his encounter with his Words with Friends competitor. This 22-year-old wasn't ready for how the internet would respond.
Sleyon shared a few pictures of him finally meeting 81-year-old Guttman, accompanied by the caption, "last summer I randomly met this 80 y/o woman on words with friends. we played 300+ games together and she actually ended up becoming a good friend of mine. Today I got to go to Florida and meet her in person." The internet couldn't handle this level of cute.
Sleyon never expected his tweet to gain as much popularity as it has. His Twitter post has been liked over one million times and retweeted close to 250,000 times. This genuine friendship is reaching people everywhere, and our hearts are definitely warmed. Guttman claims she doesn't know what the big deal is.
"People should be behaving this way with each other all the time," the 81-year-old stated. Guttman hasn't spoken to reporters about the encounter, but she did send Butler a statement after she made the entire meet-up happen. Her heartfelt words are enough to have anyone in tears!
"I’m at a loss for words to describe today. Without question, it was one of the most memorable days of my life. I’m still basking in the glow of warmth and friendship," Guttman wrote. She went on to thank Butler for the chance to meet her friend. "My only words in this moment are a humongous thank you. I love you both to the moon and back," she stated. Try to control your emotions.
Words with Friends even took notice of this remarkable friendship. "We can’t get enough of this! Amazing. Thank you for sharing your story with us," the official Twitter of Words with Friends stated. The internet definitely takes a win for this one. An internet connection can definitely spark the most sincere of friendships.
"Relationships change us," the pastor Butler stated. This is definitely true when it comes to this unlikely friendship, which was made possible by a Wi-Fi connection. Faith in humanity has definitely been restored, and it all started with a game of online Scrabble.