It’s two days after Thanksgiving here in the U.S., but it doesn’t need to be Thanksgiving to be thankful for something in your life. Today, I’m thankful for people who take time out of their day to rate things. Yesterday while browsing the Play Store for Cyber Week deals, I realized that I’m the worst kind of smartphone user. Why? Because I explicitly judge whether an app is worth pursuing or not by its rating and reviews; yet, when push comes to shove and that inevitable pop-up appears in an app asking me to rate my experience, I don’t think I have ever actually rated or reviewed an app. Basically, I’m a hypocrite, and I’m kind of ashamed of that.
It’s the same way with Amazon. I’ve been a Prime user for a while now as it provides an incredible amount of convenience in my life. Again, I judge my purchases based off of its ratings and reviews (barring there’s no “I received this item for a free or discounted price,” disclaimer at the bottom because everybody knows you can’t trust those) but after I’ve purchased the item and realized that I’m satisfied with it, do I rate it? No. I forget about it and go about my business.
I don’t think there’s any one reason why I don’t rate things. I’m an extremely forgetful person for one, but that’s not an excuse when both Amazon and smartphone apps have a tendency to remind you to rate your experience. For apps, I find the practice particularly annoying when some apps repetitively ask for ratings or ask you to rate something after using the app for just a few minutes (or even a day). On the other hand, it’s silly to get annoyed because developers are only looking out for their own well-being. Usually, the only people who will go out of their way to rate something without being prompted are people who don’t like a product and want other people to know about their negative experience, which isn’t good for business. My decision to not rate things appears to be a mix of forgetfulness and selfishness because I can’t be bothered to be interrupted from this app I’m enjoying to give it a good rating. Because that makes sense.
I keep trying to come up with excuses that justify my reasoning for not contributing my feedback, but I’m not coming up with anything. Once upon a time I didn’t trust app ratings because people were prompted to rate an app after they uninstalled it – I’m sure those people just left glowing reviews. Developers padding their app’s ratings with fake or paid 5-star reviews is also something that isn’t unheard of, so how do you know when an app is actually good or not? Rules and regulations regarding app ratings have gotten better, but it’s not a perfect system.
Even if the rating system isn’t perfect, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t leave an actual, honest review of a product, especially if I enjoy it. I can attempt to spin my unwillingness to rate apps anyway I want, but it just boils down to the fact that I’m lazy about it.
Just as you don’t need it to be Thanksgiving to be thankful for something, you also don’t need it to be New Year’s to make a resolution. I’m always trying to find ways to be a better person, and while rating apps, goods, or services might not seem like a remarkable way of being better, it seems fair given that I take ratings into consideration myself. With that said, it’s time to start chipping away at all of the ratings and reviews I feel I owe.
Readers, what’s your take on app ratings? Are you diligent in leaving reviews when you’re happy or unhappy with an app? Let us know in the comments below!