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YELP and Rotten Tomatoes Have Fueled Our Decision Making

by T. Austin Basile about a year ago in pop culture
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How My Life Is Ruined By These Giants

YELP and Rotten Tomatoes Have Fueled Our Decision Making
Photo by Corina Rainer on Unsplash

*Disclaimer*

This small article is purely opinion based with no hard figures or facts behind it. I am writing this from personal experience and how the impact of these two companies have changed my life.

Although I was born in the nineties, I fondly remember Friday nights with my family going out to new restaurants and seeing a movie. It was what I looked forward to most as a young kid in Connecticut. It was hard to do much of anything else as Connecticut doesn’t offer too much other than the Mystic Sea Aquarium and the Hartford Whalers… Oh wait. Suffice to say, Friday’s were a big deal.

If we went to a restaurant and, for lack of a better term, it sucked, then that was that. We vowed to never go again and proceeded to talk about how awful it was on the car ride to the theatre. If we saw a movie and that, well, sucked, then we chalked that Friday up to a loss. However, we still always had a good time as a family poking fun at the awful experiences we had. That was it. That was the entirety of it. Perhaps the next day we would talk to our friends, or in my parents’ case, their coworkers about how the experience was, but we still went out because there wasn’t a previous outside influence telling us how terrible it was going to be.

I am a huge Jim Carrey fan and when I saw Ace Ventura When Nature Calls, the sequel to the original Ace Ventura movie, I thought it was the greatest feature film I had ever laid my eyes on. It currently holds a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. My favorite restaurant at the time was a place called Hops. Best Grilled Chicken Nachos that side of the Buckland area. It is now closed, torn down, and Dave and Busters now resides over its cold, lifeless remains.

Fast forward to today. There are times where I wouldn’t see a movie at all just because it has a score lower than 60% on RT. If a restaurant doesn’t have a 4+ star rating on YELP, you are crazy to think I would EVER step foot in there. Over time, these companies have warped my mind to believe that I need to do what the consensus tells me to do. I don’t have freedom over my own agency because if I decide to eat or see a movie that isn’t widely beloved, then I am the social outcast that is looked down upon.

Sometimes I want to see a stupid comedy and eat at a less than perfect restaurant. I enjoy those things, but I feel societal pressure telling me that is the wrong choice. I SHOULD be seeing Oscar Nominated pictures about a woman and her fish-humanoid love connection (The Shape of Water) or eat at a widely acclaimed restaurant where the wait is over an hour…and guess what, they don’t take reservations over the phone sweetie.

All of this to say is that, I miss the Friday nights where we were reckless and rebellious. Before those companies were a major part of our lives and we ate and watched whatever we want. I want to judge something based on my opinion. However, I am too weak to ever revert back to that. I am a hypocrite and nostalgic at the same time.

I wonder what movies are coming out on Netflix this weekend?

**opens Rotten Tomatoes**

pop culture

About the author

T. Austin Basile

Lover of Chipotle, my wife and my three animals. And yes, in that order.

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