Do you read reviews?

How religiously do you follow them?

When New York City began to reopen in April, one of the first things to get the go ahead was comedy clubs. I found some inexpensive tickets on a discount ticket website to a comedy club in the village. I asked my daughter if she wanted to go- she responded “Yes” so I bought the tickets.

Fine.

Except… my daughter began to read reviews of the club and started to freak out. The reviews were terrible… I rationalized that the reviews were obviously a year old. Is it fair to judge something on reviews that are way out of date?

My daughter, ever the persistent arguer, really made a case for eating the cost of the tickets that I’d bought, because it just wasn’t worth it to go. She was completely paralyzed by the bad reviews. She was letting the opinion of others color her thoughts.

Now that everyone with a device and internet access can give a rating to anything they want, have we become a society unwilling to try something unless there’s a four star review attached? Do we let the words of people we don’t know decide what we should and shouldn’t do? Do we really care that much about the opinions of others?

After much back and forth, my daughter and I attended the comedy show. It was neither bad nor good: just average. We did manage to have a really good time though- we were able to talk about the comics we didn’t like and why we didn’t. We managed to make the crowd laugh when the headliner asked if my daughter and I were just friends (he had been asking the crowd how they’d met the people they were there with) because of our body language and I simply said that she was my daughter…I’m guessing my inflection and my daughter’s shoulder shrug made it funny…biggest laugh of the night FYI…

I’m thinking that sometimes, in the case of reviews, that too much information is not necessarily good. I don’t know if we have the proper filters to ascertain which things are helpful and which aren’t…

For your homework: Give me a review about reviews…

56 thoughts on “Five Star

  1. The problem with many reviews is that people only feel the need to post one if they have a complaint. We only see the people who are angry and/or dissatisfied and want people to know how they feel. We also have the Goodreads problem of people posting one star reviews fo books they have not read because someone told them the book was “problematic” You have to take reviews with a grain of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The more I see reviews, the more I want to ban them. One of my blog friends wrote a post about people contradicting experts on things. I think this is part of the problem…we all think we are experts…

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Aside from the subjectivity of reviews – which I am able to allow for, usually – it’s often difficult to read too much into them as different folks have different expectations. Some set bars substantially higher than others often unrealistically so. So, I read the reviews with a large sack of salt to hand 😉

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  3. Let me give you an earful about book reviews. I’ve been reading books by authors who are not the top of the top. Currently, I am reading the Lucas Davenport series by John Sanford. He’s a good writer and very successful. When I got a bad review on one of my books, I went to Sanford’s reviews for some solace. He received one and two star reviews by small-minded and unhappy people. This pattern also holds true of other best-selling authors I’ve read. And, these bad reviews inevitably appear in the first ten reviews listed by Amazon among the thousands of good reviews. It happens to little me too. It’s frustrating. I guess the lesson is you have to take reviews with a grain of salt. Kudos to you for not allowing the bad reviews to stop you from having a good time.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The only place I really seek out reviews is when purchasing some items from Amazon. We all know that Amazon sellers come from all over the globe, some more reliable/upfront than others. I’ve been burned a few times and now take to heart the reviews that detail delayed or non-delivered items, poor customer service, etc. Ironically, Google just informed me the other day how popular my review of a CPR training program has been! I don’t write reviews often but this place is affordable, locations all over, skilled trainers and…they literally give you the answers for the test (which I did not mention in the review btw). We have to update every 2 years and it’s geared to healthcare types so no fluff, just practice the basics and be done. It was an easy place to review.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I admit I’m trying to buy less from Amazon unless it’s something I know well…like cat litter….I rarely write reviews…I’m already an armchair expert…I don’t need to push it further

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The timing of your post is great because yesterday I spent 30 minutes reading hotel reviews for an upcoming trip. I read reviews to see if there is a consistent theme of good, bad or indifferent. One hotel that had been a serious contender was knocked out due to repeated bad reviews about their cleaning. I do like a review though…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yelp is the devil, and it needs to go away. I said what I said.

    I agree with an Amazon review , however many Amazon reviewers are paid to write those reviews. I didn’t realize this until lockdown. I’d get notes tucked among my goods saying that if I posted a favorable review, they’d send me a $20 Amazon gift card. Keep this in mind next time as you read Amazon reviews….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I listen to reviews from people I know in real life, as I’m familiar with their preferences and standards and so there’s a quantifiable value to them. Online reviews are tricky as you don’t have that knowledge, let alone the agenda of all the keyboard warriors out there. If I need to use online reviews, I tend to look for trends as one of your commenters said above, and I also generally check out both ends of the spectrum. I’ll always review a new service or an indie business, but one complaint is when I’m asked to review items I regularly purchase – every single time I buy them.

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  8. You really have to decide for yourself. I agree with the previous post that ‘those with unreasonable expectations’ or sometimes competing in the same arena might post negative reviews. Gushing is often personal. Remember everyone has good days and bad days. Recently, I picked up an order and the woman was very rude to me. I brushed it off to a bad day as the food was good and having been the owner of a business….I moved forward. I knew she was not the owner and I did think of mentioning it in person to her if I returned. That is the big thing-if you return.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I do look at aggregate star rating on goodreads. The collective is usually right. However, if a plot interests me I’m seeing the movie regardless

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I never bothered with the reviews. But just like your daughter, my kids rely on them 100%. My daughter visited us in our new town and we were going out for coffee. I had a list of restaurants and coffee shop recommendations from a friend who moved here from Palm Springs years before me. Her son is a chef and her food recommendations are always good. My daughter insisted on going by Yelp reviews. Yes, it was a cute place and we’ve been back. But really? She’d take the advice of strangers online over a person who we know?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I only started looking at reviews when I could see that my kids did it. I myself don’t post reviews but I do take the ones I read with a grain of salt. I figure a little info about an unknown is better than none at all but I still try to enter someplace new to me with an open mind.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I am interested in reviews but I should qualify that. When it comes to restaurants I really consider the source. Many people like different types of food, and especially new restaurants I always wait a few months so I hear more opinions from more people. Online reviews for products or recipes I look for volume and consistency. I have learned one thing about reviews though – if my daughter gives something a good review – she is absolutely right. (don’t tell her I said so)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reviews are great! When we were out of the country, I relied heavily on reviews for places where we lived, including Airbnbs and hotels. When the review didn’t match the stay, I was sure to mention it in MY review. Also, when the review was accurate, which Booking.com asks, I was sure to say that as well ❤

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      1. lol I find most useful. I know sometimes there are fake reviews, but mostly, especially with hotels and restaurants, they’re mostly useful. I have a friend who won’t get a restaurant unless the Yelp reviews are good. So far, she’s been right.

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  12. I take reviews with a grain of salt, for example I married a man whose opinion on most things is disturbingly opposite of mine, not all, just most. If I were trying to choose a movie from his review I would never find one I really liked! So I glance at a few and sometimes you take a leap of faith and are pleasantly surprised. All my best, C

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Typically people that leave reviews are either very pleased, or displeased; therefore, you get a skewed perspective either way. I rarely look at reviews. My rating of reviews is thus…..well, I don’t have one, because I don’t use them. hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I will admit, I am a big reviewer of reviews when it comes to buying something….especially via Amazon. Good or bad, they do “color” my decisions. I may still go ahead and purchase despite bad reviews but more often than not, I will opt for a product with more and better reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m going to pick a week and look at what I buy and why I chose something…should be interesting to see what motivates me to actually purchase

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I do rely on reviews for certain things and find them very helpful. If reviews are three stars or less I typically read them to see what the gripe is about and if I see a pattern I might avoid that particular establishment. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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      1. I think some of the comments people leave get ridiculous….I understand clean vs dirty, but I just can’t believe some of the things people think are “bad”

        Liked by 1 person

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