Views, reviews and non reviews, Susie admits to being addicted to the twitterings on her phone
Susie’s addicted to her phone
The signs have been there for a while. I take it to bed with me, and it’s the first thing I look at when I wake up. Now, after years in denial, I’ve finally accepted that I’m addicted to my mobile phone. I blame Brexit.
It all came to a head during the endless cliffhanger votes in parliament, when no one (and I mean no one) had an idea what on earth was going to happen. I just couldn’t keep off Twitter for fear of missing something. And then the screen time notification flashed up at the end of the week, telling me my average daily usage.
It was so shameful that I can’t even share it with you. But that, along with the fact that my shoulder muscles were going into spasm from my hunched-overphone position, made me realise I had to get a (real) life.
The trouble is the world is completely interactive these days. Twitter is the most obvious example - everyone has an opinion, and you’re just a tap away from reading other opinions about that opinion. Just as you think you have a handle on the general consensus, a completely opposite view pops up. Before you know it, your head is fuzzy, your neck is aching, and you’re no more knowledgeable.
The same goes for online reviews. Want to know how good a restaurant is, or whether to buy a particular product? Scroll down the page to read what the people think. There’s usually lots of it.
Apparently the vast majority of ‘customer feedback’ is neutral or positive, but then there are
the very negative reviews: the angry consumers shouting their complaints over the internet. Many businesses think ‘keyboard warriors’ can do real harm.
Nick Mills, the owner of Brasted’s - one of the county’s top restaurants - recently took on a ‘rude and abusive’ reviewer on Trip Advisor, saying his account was ‘wholly inaccurate.’ He, along with many other restaurateurs, think reviews should be left to newspaper critics and writers who really know their stuff.
Speaking as a consumer (who’s only ever posted two reviews, both for excellent hotels), my biggest bugbear is the non-review. Why, oh why does anyone feel the need to write “I can’t tell you whether this is any good yet as I haven’t unpacked it”, or “Bought as a gift for a friend. Her birthday isn’t till next week but hope she’ll be pleased.”
Pandora’s box is open: we have asked for people’s opinions on everything and we’re getting them whether we like it or not. Our interactive culture is here to stay. The views, reviews and non-reviews will keep on coming.
But for my own sanity, I am going to make a conscious decision to interact less with the unknown, online crowd and more with those I can see and converse with in person. Like my husband, who would love me to come off Twitter and ask him his opinion for a change.
It may be tough to break the habit, but I remind myself that it is a relatively recent one. It wasn’t that long ago that I had a mobile phone that just sat in my handbag and pinged with a text every so often.
Oh those halcyon days…!