Near the end of 2014 I wrote a review of the Misfit Flash and in 2015 is is one of my most-read articles on the entire site. There are about 50 different “Misfit Flash…” searches that can lead you to my review, so I guess I hit the topics people are curious about. And since I have more “hit-and-run” readers on this article than most, the comments can be less than kind. They don’t really bother me, and I let critical comments stay up (as long as they’re not belligerent).
A comment was added last week that bothered me more than most. It didn’t make me feel bad about myself, but it made me think about how people view reviewers and that brought me down. It ends with the simple line:
I don’t think your review is very accurate.
If you would like to see the full content, check out the review and it’s the most recent comment. In short, I was told that because this person owned the Flash as well and likes some of the things I disliked, my review was wrong. I didn’t like how it looked; they thought it looked cool. I thought it was a terrible watch replacement; they said they didn’t need to know the exact time. I couldn’t wait to get rid of it; they wear it 24/7.
I attempted to reply in a cordial manner, but this suggestion that my review was inaccurate just because I didn’t like it still bothered me. I’ve written quite a few reviews on this site before (I have certainly slowed down lately) and they tend to be positive. I don’t get much pleasure from taking the time to write about things I don’t enjoy. Apparently another reason is that people don’t like when you shit all over something they love and they’ll tell you about it.
But what am I supposed to do as a reviewer? I wouldn’t call myself a journalist by any means, but I do want my opinions to be respected, and that’s not going to be the case if I love every single piece of tech put in front of me. Hell, considering the traffic this review gets, I wish it was a glowing review with an Amazon affiliate link at the top, bottom, and in the middle so I could get some kickbacks on this! If anything, I’m incentivized to write a positive review! Outside of my dignity, what advantage do I get for writing a negative review?
At the end of the day, I tried the Misfit Flash and I hated it, which is what I said in my review. I stand by every word of that review to this day. Everything is factually accurate about the device’s functionality, and my opinions are based on spending a good amount of time with the device and trying to convince myself I did like it. I just didn’t.
So the next time you find yourself disagreeing with a review online. Consider for a moment that the person who wrote or recorded that review may have different priorities, taste, and needs from you and that may be affecting their differing opinion, and they’re not out to get your pet product.
Of course if my review were inaccurate because FitBit is paying me to mock other fitness trackers…well, actually I would have to shoot them an email because the checks aren’t coming.