The Overlooked Problem with Our “Rate and Review” Culture
It would be a big mistake for you to assume that this post is just a light-hearted one that you can ignore.
Because what I am about to show you will really get you to think differently about the benefits and drawbacks of our “rate and review” culture.
Because, whether we want to admit it or not, there is a problem for business owners (and us personally) in a culture that can rate and review anything and everything.
Keep reading and I’ll explain what I mean by showing you a video and an article that reveals the overlooked problem of our “Rate and Review” culture.
But first, I need to explain how I came across this video, so you don’t judge me! 😀
The Benefits and Distractions of Working from Home
I work from home.
In many ways, that’s a blessing and a benefit.
In other ways, it can be a distraction and a problem… like when my sons are home from school.
Today is one of those days that they are off from school, and although I am glad to be able to be around them, it can take a little more effort to focus and be productive. 🙂
That leads me to the video I am about to show you.
Just a little while ago, I was sitting here at the kitchen table and working.
And you’d be proud of me because I was doing a pretty good job at getting work done!
Until my youngest son turned off the video game he was playing and put the TV on.
I know! I could go into the other room and be less distracted but I am pretty good at ignoring what they are doing and I had a flow going and didn’t want to stop.
Anyway, I am glad I didn’t leave because as I was sitting here working I heard this cartoon playing in the background.
And that’s when I decided to look up to see what was going on because they seemed to be making fun of our ability to rate and review everything.
I tried to continue working but I kept hearing them talking about rating and reviewing things.
That’s when I realized that this video perfectly captures the problem with our “Rate and Review” culture.
Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.
(*IMPORTANT: If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, then at least just watch the first 4:25 minutes.)
VIDEO: The Amazing World of Gumball: The Stars
My favorite part at the beginning of the video is this…
Gumball: “Dad, you have do the right thing. Leave a mean review of Larry online and ruin his life with complete anonymity!”
Dad: “Hmmm… That is both lazy and cowardly. Pass me the laptop!”
But that’s not the only funny or important part of the video. The jokes and social commentary just get better from there!
In fact, the ending is the part that really hits home, so make sure to watch it.
Some of you might think the ending is funny, but you might think that it’s too far-fetched to ever happen in the real world.
Then check out this article…
ARTICLE: Are you ready for a future where we’re all reviewed like Uber drivers?
In an Opinion Piece on TheGuardian.com, Arwa Mahdawi paints a surprising picture of what things will be like if/when the reviews and rating start pointing at us…
Are you ready for a future where we’re all reviewed like Uber drivers?
“You’re at a job interview and your prospective boss pulls out their phone to check your Employee Obedience score: 4.5. OK. When you get the job, your new colleagues use an app to see how previous colleagues have reviewed you. Your Overall Likability score is 3.2. They learn that you play Rihanna on repeat and hoard pens. Nevertheless, a girl in sales thinks you’re kind of hot, so uses an app to look up your Relationship score: 3.4. She reads reviews from former partners that cover everything from your table manners to your bedroom manners. It seems you always serve yourself first.
“Welcome to the future in which every aspect of our personalities and behaviour is assigned a star rating, available for all to see. Think this sounds crazy? Your Suspension of Disbelief score is probably low. Bear with me. You can rate my Credibility Quotient at the end…”
We Need to Follow the 5 “Golden Rules” of the Rate and Review Culture
I think that whether it’s based on the humorous video I showed you or the article above, we all need to live by the “Golden Rules” when it comes to how we use the powerful rating tools that we now have access to…
1. Rate or review as you would like to be rated and reviewed.
Maybe the employee or business owner was having a bad day. Would you really want to have a permanent rating based on your bad days? Give them the benefit of the doubt like you want from others.
Consider the fact that YOU might be having a bad day and that is tainting your opinion. Would you really want someone taking out their crankiness on you and your business (livelihood)?
2. Don’t say anything online about a business or person that you wouldn’t say to their face.
No Really. Not the response you’d give in your imaginary “I’d give them a piece of my mind” world. I am talking about what you’d REALLY say.
I bet it would be a lot kinder and more toned down than your angry “internet self” wants to put it.
(If you’re a jerk in real life, please do us all a favor and don’t use any rate or review sites! :D)
3. Remember, your opinion is just your opinion.
Maybe YOU think the book, food, service, etc. was horrible, but maybe plenty of OTHERS think it is great. Keep that in mind when you’re rating a place.
Your opinion isn’t the ultimate end-all, be-all to what’s amazing in this world.
4. Think about how your review will impact the life/living of the person or place you’re reviewing and rate and review accordingly.
Maybe that restaurant you’re about to rate horribly, because of its horrible service, had multiple servers who were sick that day. Can the owner really do anything about that?
Think about the things that you are getting ready to complain about with your rating or review. How many of those things are things the business owner knew about and/or could have done something about?
5. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I am not saying that you can’t ever complain or give a negative review or one-star rating. Just remember that those are real people you’re rating. Real people who have feelings. Real people who make mistakes. Real people who are just trying to make a living like you are.
I think that if we took more of these “Golden Rules” into consideration when we rate and review, then our ratings and reviews would be more: helpful (for the business owner and customer), realistic, and especially kinder.
And I think ultimately that this would make our world a better place.
What do you think? Leave your comments below…