Sometimes on the weekends, when I am not busy pinning outfits to pinterest or half-heartedly listening to the cackling and squawking of protagonists on second string Bravo reality t.v. shows (like the Millionaire Matchmaker. Oh, you hate me now? I can live with that), I will wander over to yelp and peruse the reviews of nearby businesses. I don’t know why. I’d like to think that it’s idle curiosity but I’m starting to suspect that it’s more because I like being outraged since that’s, more often than not, the sentiment I’m left with.
Yelp is not all bad; it certainly has its uses. If EVERYONE has walked away from the same crepes place with a hefty dose of salmonella poisoning that’s good, useful information to have. Or if a place only takes cash or doesn’t deliver after 8PM, again, important to know if after the fifteenth glass of wine I’m trying to order a late night snack with a credit card. But that useful, good information comprises approximately 15% of yelp. The other 85% is an intricately woven tapestry of pure unadulterated crazypants mcgeeness.
The issue is that any dummy with an email address or Facebook account can log on to yelp, create a user profile, and suddenly have a platform for their daddy issues, all-purpose idiocy, or life failures—and all under the guise of objective criticism. And any poor dope with internet access can get online, read, and possibly be influenced by this tripe. But I suppose that pretty much sums up the web. Does anyone still call it that or did 1990 call and want its lingo back? Who cares.
The point of yelp, in my estimation, is NOT to use it as an outlet to grumble about what a miserable sad bastard you are and how a particular business (or church or police station or public school, as the case maybe) didn’t meet your unreasonable expectations. Sure I wish that my neighborhood post office had a zero minute wait or that the local coffee shop would give me a pony and my own private jet but the fact that they don’t doesn’t quite warrant a scathing review in my opinion. But maybe I'm just being too kind.
It’s just that (Irony alert!) some people don’t deserve to have a public opinion. (Fascist much? First of all, no and second of all, get out.) I don’t care how thoroughly detailed your review is nor how many fervid adjectives pepper your paragraphs nor how artsy your instagrammed photos of the food or décor are; if you are one of those high maintenance people who begins every complaint with “I never complain but…,” if you are are less than satisfied 70% of the time with your experiences and can’t understand why the world hates you so much, well, guess what? It’s not the world. It. is. you. So go get a blog like the rest of us.
But am I any better griping about these people who gripe on yelp? I’ll see your self-awareness and raise you a how dare you. Yes, yes, I shouldn’t let these reviews on yelp incite my inner (and long suffering) customer service victim and I don’t doubt that some places really do deserve the yelped censure that they receive. But in those cases, the criticism is almost always ubiquitous and uniform.
And I realize that this post might contain a little hyperbole. And that the tried and true saying still goes that you can’t please everyone (as evidenced by anyone who has received any type of group based evaluation ever). And that most reasonable people who use yelp ignore the dumb dumbs who cry bad-service-wolf while the majority of reviewers appear to rule more favorably.
It's the principle of the matter. We don’t allow convicts to vote because they broke the law, they no longer get the privilege to have a say in what happens in this country. I think that the same should go for yelp trolls, who keep whining incessantly about all the clip clopping over their bridge. And how long they had to wait for the goats.
So, moral of the story is...limit free speech? Wait, no. That can't be right. Well you read the post, so you get the idea.
Rant thus endeth.