August 26, 2014 BY MJ PENCE
I just crashed on the couch to check email, look at a few sites, read some blogs as I often do in the evening. This time instead of listening to iTunes in the background, I decided I would turn on the television. Bad idea.
It’s apparent that people are still arguing, fighting, and debating to say the least. Is it any wonder we humans ever get along? Of course we do at times. But we are all so different. Our minds may be similar but our life experiences, our personalities, our tastes, and our opinions are all so unique and can even be highly contradictory. I suppose it is what makes us human and it is what fuels online communities, email chains, and neighborhood bulletin boards. It is also the fuel for sporting events, politics, wars, and the banter found on review sites. It is the disagreement between humans that creates raw social energy in communities.
But I wonder if this occurs between strangers more often or is it just as common among trusted friends.
When I get together with my closest friends, none of the major or even trivial disagreements seem to exist. We all actually think pretty much alike, care for the same things, have the same moral compass, and have similar taste. Yes of course there are the common challenges and minor differences but honestly speaking, we are birds of the same feather. And often we share ideas, experiences, and sometimes contacts in order to help each other and hopefully make life a little bit easier for each of us. It is what I like to call the ME Community. This is very different than the social communities found on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Rather than focusing on helping people I don’t know or to be quite honest even care about, I focus on those I know and me.
For many users, online community review sites are losing their appeal. It could be due to the disagreement factor. For me it is the randomness and unknown that is not appealing. I simply don’t care what someone I don’t know thinks. How do I know that anything they write in a review is relevant to me? And how do I even know that they are who they claim to be. How do I know that they care about the things I care about?
If I had to guess I think most review sites are based on business interest, ninja marketers, and alien algorithms anyway. And it doesn’t take extensive searching in Google to see that some of the most popular review sites are at the center of major controversy. How can you truly trust the results? Knowing what I know, I don’t.
Either way it all points back to how different we are all from each other. We are human for goodness sake. Luckily, as we go through life we form trusting relationships with people that are for the most part like us and many times become close life long friends. When it comes to guidance, recommendations, and referrals, be it a doctor, dentist, or a dinner at a new place on Friday, the people I know, the people I consider my closest friends, the people I trust, are the best option for ME.
It’s what I count on and it undoubtedly works for ME. I bet it also works for them.