Monday, April 14, 2014

Reviews - Your Mileage May Vary

Nowadays, it seems like everyone's got an opportunity to review just about any old thing - from the pet steps you bought at Amazon to the guy who installed your toilet to the books you read and the music you listen to.  In fact, I was just reviewing our new sheets and comforter last night - after a little prompting from Walmart itself.

And as I was typing my reviews - both five-stars, btw (I love my new bed clothes) - I was tempted to add at the end - your mileage may vary.  Because, really, it might. 

Take the sheets, for instance.  They're jersey material and I LURVE them.  They're so soft and so light and infinitely warm.  They're perfect for me.  But jersey material is kinda stretchy, so I do notice when I wake up that the sheets got bunchy somewhere in the middle of the night.  (I'm a mover when I sleep.)  A fact which might irritate the whole bejeezus out of other people.

But my opinion is that they are the most awesome and wonderful sheets I've bought for spring/summer/fall.  (Sorry.  Nothing beats a good set of flannel sheets for cold weather.  Again, my opinion.) 

That's the thing about opinions, though, isn't it?  They're one person's view of how they like or don't like a given thing.  My opinion is that brussels sprouts taste like used armpit guards.  My mother loves brussels sprouts.  I would never offer her my opinion - although if she remembers my childhood, she already knows - because she doesn't need to hear exactly how gross I think her beloved veggies are.  On the other hand, I love blueberries and she thinks they're gross.  (Even after all the blueberry pies she slaved over throughout raising her kids. After she told me, I realized I'd never actually seen her eat a piece.)

So, when you leave a review, be kind enough to remember that what you're offering the general public is your opinion.  And when you read a review, remember that the person writing it has offered theirs.  Neither your opinion or mine or the man on the street is infallible - and often what is trash to one person is freakin' awesome to another.

(And yes, sometimes I need to remember this myself.  Even I've left book reviews that weren't necessarily as thoughtful as they should have been.)


Janet said...

THIS should be required reading for everyone about to review something AND those about to be reviewed. Well said, B.E.!!

On a related note - most reasons why I don't read reviews is because I know my opinion is not that of the reviewee!

jblynn said...

So true!

Everything is so subjective.

When I get a bad review I remind myself "Tom Hanks" and I feel better.

Why Tom Hanks? Because I don't like him, but the rest of the world adores him.

(and you and your mom and brussel sprouts are the same as my mom and I are, lol)

Silver James said...

You are most wise, O-BE San! ;-) And yeah, I try not to read ANY reviews of my own work. If I'm on the fence about a book or product, I'll read the a few of the best, a few of the worst, and a couple in the middle to make up my mind. Unless the review is from someone I know, trust, and has the same tastes I have. LOL

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks, Janet! Yeah, ya kinda have to take reviews with a grain of salt.

LOL about Tom Hanks, JB. That's like me and George Clooney - don't like him, don't find him attractive and couldn't really care less.

:gigglesnort: Silver. Wise I am. LOL And I do the same thing with reviews. Read a few to get a general gist, but don't take any of them as gospel.

Aisyah Putri Setiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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