Recently, I moved out of my old apartment complex. They have been emailing me ever since, asking me to rate them and leave a review. Stop emailing me! We are no longer in a relationship, and I don’t feel like helping you find my replacement, nor do I want to stoop down and drag you through the mud. Find your self-worth on your own instead of from online reviews.
A few years ago, when I was playing with various options on my blog, I added the possibility for people to either up or downvote other people’s comments. While I was aware that it might create drama, all I was trying to do was ensure engagement. I figured the up/down votes would make people want to get to know one another better.
None of it happened. No one rated the post or up/down voted the comments. Maybe my blog was too fresh, and people were not really comfortable with that then. In a way, I am glad it did not work out. Now, I understand (more than before) how reacting to someone else’s comment can create a whole bunch of off-topic drama that spirals out of control.
There was also an option to be enabled that allowed people to rate my post. It was easy for me to pass up on, as the stars are often allocated very subjectively and serve as terrible feedback (vague) without a review/ comment explaining it.
Back in the day, I used to work in a customer-facing position, and one of my tasks was to obtain satisfaction ratings. It was then that I saw firsthand how much of a lie this thing is. First of all, there were ways to keep the unhappy customer from doing the survey. Secondly, some of those who were happy with their experience did not even read the questions. They just asked me to point where the highest rating was for them to select. Totally meaningless, but it made us ‘look good’ and kept us on the payroll.
During a work evaluation, we were told that the top mark isn’t really used. The lowest wasn’t either. Then, why not get rid of 1 and 5 and just leave 2, 3, and 4? I guess in a world where everyone’s special but no one really is, all that is left is the middle…
I don’t do much rating myself.
I don’t travel by Uber.
I rarely order food online.
My old apartment complex would give new people $5 off on monthly rent if they agreed to post a positive review and field questions from potential residents in an inviting manner. (Isn’t that slave labor for the leasing office?)
I don’t feel the need to post reviews of things or places online. While I have done a couple of those in the past, things have to be either REALLY good or TERRIBLY bad for me to go through the hassle of logging in to whatever website (because I am just dying to have to remember another username and password) and leaving a review.
A year or so ago, I decided to rate the books I borrow from the library so that – if one day I want to re-read something – I have an easier time choosing it. (This will probably never happen as there are just SO many new books out there.) More so, I did it so that – if someone asks me for a recommendation – I am able to actually tell them what I enjoyed. (Most books are average and below average, so there are not very many recommendations here.) I quickly discovered that I rate things in the heat of the moment and that I don’t stop to think about comparing one book to another with the same rating (not that I think I should). What does that mean? It means that I might give 3 stars to two different books and like one more than the other. I.E. the rating method is not very objective. Some bloggers that I follow specialize in reviews (of books, movies, restaurants, etc.), and they use a five-star rating. They often tell me that the review holds the real rating, not the stars, and I agree.
We’ve all seen 1-star reviews with no explanation. It always made me wonder if the product/ place was really that bad or if there was more to it than meets the eye. Apparently, some 1-star reviews are not honest. (And you bet that some of the 5-stars aren’t either!)
Last week, I stumbled upon an article in which I read about rating scammers. People from foreign countries (although I would not be surprised if there were some US citizens that played this dirty game, too) blackmail US restaurants. They spam Google with 1-star reviews of a specific restaurant and then reach out to said restaurant with an apology. In that communication, they express their regret (We don’t want to do it, but we have to survive somehow.) and ask for gift cards in exchange for taking down the reviews.
Some restaurants were successful in asking Google to remove those reviews (term violation since the reviews are ‘not real’), but not all. This opens up a whole other can of worms. I’ve written a 1-star review before, and within hours, it disappeared. Why? Because I don’t post enough reviews, and Google thought that it wasn’t ‘real…’ How does Google figure that out? You can argue that a person a million miles away did not visit a restaurant in the US, but why? What if they did? Will you ask people for receipts when posting a review? I don’t see another way of verifying whether a restaurant review is real. But then, what if you go out to dinner with someone and you don’t get the receipt because they pay the bill?
So, if you have not known that already – don’t 100% trust the reviews you see on the Internet. Some of them might have been written by people who have never tried the product/ been to the place they are reviewing. Additionally, most reviews are not complete – what matters to the reviewer might not to me and vice versa. Heck, we might even have completely opposite opinions on the same thing. People disagree on everything these days. What makes you think that they do on products and places?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you are not sure what to write about, here are some questions that might spark an idea.
- Do you do a lot of rating? If so, on what?
- Do you pay attention to reviews of a product/ place when making a purchasing decision?
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