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Vote with your reviews

“People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

-Maya Angelou

People often mention the importance of “voting with your dollars” or “voting with your feet” but in our increasingly connected online world there’s another way to vote: with your reviews.

Have a good interaction in a normally painful place like the DMV or a UPS store? Rate them on google and mention the person who helped you by name and what they did that made your interaction so pleasant. Find a good artist on Soundcloud? Tell them they are great! Did someone on Twitter graciously admit they were wrong after being presented with overwhelming contradictory evidence? (jk, this would never happen.)

It’s easy to do – it takes two minutes to pull out your phone, navigate to the reviews tab for some person or business, give them five stars, and write a thoughtful note. And it’s arguably a more powerful way to affect your immediate environment than traditional ways of voting. It’s easy rise above the noise too. The reviews section on most websites are almost entirely a combination of long, whiny, complaints, or two-word positive or negative feedback. It doesn’t take all that much effort to do better than this.

It’s also good practice for the real life habit of complimenting people. It teaches you to notice your appreciation1 of good actors, formulate a response that conveys your appreciation, and then give that response before the moment passes. It will make both of you feel good, incentivize prosocial behaviors, and is also just a nice way to go through the world.2

Go forth and compliment!

This made me feel warm and tingly inside. As of this writing this is the only rating or review NeuraCache has on the App Store. It will likely increase the probability that this app I love will still exist in ten years.


Notes

  1. When you practice noticing goodness in the world you shift the balance of your mental life towards positivity. As William James said “my experience is what I agree to attend to.” I think this is probably why gratitude journaling works. 

  2. The first bit of feedback I got for this blog from someone I didn’t know (from Alexey Guzey) was hugely motivating for me to keep writing.