Yelp! Social Media Can Be Biting

by Nicole Branigan on June 21, 2010 · 0 comments

Yelp! for Social MediaBlackbird Gets a Taste of Restaurant Critiquing.

I’ve just started a Yelp! account. I love to eat at restaurants, and I also love having an opinion, so I thought it was time to combine the two in a somewhat symbiotic relationship. I use Yelp! when deciding what new restaurants to try, so I wanted to give back some of the love…or did I?

The first Yelp! review I wrote was about a Mexican restaurant my husband and I frequent. The owner was behind the bar last night, and was behaving rudely and unprofessionally. This instance was the perfect fuel to feed my Yelp! fire and I wrote a stern post about her restaurant. After I had done so, I felt a pang of guilt. What if there is backlash? What if someone posts a nasty response to MY nasty response? What are the karma repercussions of social media restaurant critiquing?

Then I decided to chill out. You see, social media is just that – social. It’s meant to start a dialogue. And like all forms of media, online social media is not the be all end all of human interaction or hearsay. Chances are, someone will skim over my restaurant review, decide to eat there anyway and have a lovely time.
Besides, isn’t that the point? Isn’t one of the major draws of social media the fact that it gives a shit stain like me a voice? On the Internet, everyone gets to have an opinion, and in more cases than not, someone READS that opinion. At worst, online reviews on social media websites are somewhat hurtful on a small scale. At best, business owners are taking advantage of said reviews in order to improve their bottom line.

I certainly won’t make a habit of posting negative reviews on Yelp! and look forward to exploring all the features this website has to offer. For now, I’ll keep my Internet karma on an even keel.

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