Imagine a life without likes, ratings and ratings

Imagine a life without likes, ratings and ratings

Sorry, dear, if you had a rating of 4.5 you would get a 20% discount on this house, “says the unlucky real estate saleswoman Lacie, who dreams of a luxury home in a fancy neighborhood. However, her rating on the socially acceptable behavior scale is only 4.2, because she talked too much in the taxi, so the driver punished her with a bad rating. But as the accident usually does not go by itself, there are a few more wrong moves and Lacie will soon fall to the bottom of the social ladder. That is how the plot sounds in the episode “Fall” of the British series “Black Mirror”, which in 2016 visionary foresaw a dystopia of modern society in which it all comes down to grades, likes, comments – in short, a life in which we are constantly judged, whether jogging or phoning , we order a bench or clothes, as if we were at our toughest graduation. In such a scenario, we all have a certain socioeconomic status, and it affects everything else – which car we will be able to buy, where we will sit in a movie theater, restaurant, or plane, even whether it will invite you as a wedding guest. Because who else needs someone with bad grades to ruin their ratings?


Ok, it’s all scary and possible, but how is it? The fact of the matter is that much of today is about evaluating whether you are buying shoes, book hotel rooms or apartments. Here, even doctors get rigorous reviews on the internet, although most of us have no slight connection with how expert they really are, so it all comes down to a superficial impression – whether or not the doctor was kind. However, while until recently a large number of evaluations concerned only specific products and services, today we are increasingly seeking the ratings and comments of the specific people behind the services. Ana, an unkind saleswoman on Amazon, thumbs down! Tomo, a prostitute on Airbnb, here’s a critique of his 7000 character behavior! Damir, an Uber driver who just doesn’t shut down – where we can report him to never meet him again. We are no better off on the other side, because every conversation is recorded and evaluated. And just so you know, you can get a bad Uber rating if you’re too polite and silent as a watered-down instead of entertaining the driver.


They went one step further in America when they started using such tools at work. In 2017, the US Bridgewater Investment Fund installed its employees on iPads with an app that can evaluate all 1500 employees. “Our employees adore this kind of system,” says Ray Dalio, head of the firm, and we strongly doubt that his employees love another job that has hurt them. A colleague had a great presentation, a liking. A colleague was really witty on her lunch break and gossiping at her boss, here are three likes. Whatever three, ten!

And the proof that it can always be worse is China, which by the end of 2020 plans to fully implement a social credit system that will punish citizens for disobedience and bad behavior – from traffic violations, dumping trash to drunkenness and sexual offenses. If it turns out that someone has really bad grades in their digital booklet, they will have to account for the consequences – by slowing down the speed of the internet, restricting freedom of movement and travel, lower chances of employment and higher taxes. What to say but – “Black Mirror” is already at the door.


But before you escape to a desert island and throw all your gadgets overboard, let’s ask ourselves why we are increasingly introducing digital ratings for all things live, even for love and sex partners. On the one hand, the world is flooded with information, and it is logical that we need a system that makes it easier to cope with the sea of ​​data and capabilities. We need someone to whisper to one of the hundreds of Italian restaurants to go to, a place where pizza will be great, and we won’t vehemently get hooked with a waiter trying to kick us out. And what better landmark than the majority opinion, a phenomenon called “social proof” in sociology. Namely, it is no secret that we feel better and more secure when our opinion is confirmed by others, as proven by numerous experiments, which teach us that one will always prefer to leave the decision to the masses than to doubt one’s own. Crazy, isn’t it? For, on the one hand, people want to be very independent and individual, and on the other, they act like sheep, leading themselves wherever they are, here and there.


And just how monstrous is the recommendation of the crazy, proves the case of London-based restaurant The Shed At Dulwich, a hip place that never really existed, and yet many people wanted to visit. Vice journalist Oobah Butler faked a website for a fictional restaurant in 2017, inserted super photos of crazy dishes, including shaving foam, and asked friends and relatives to write great reviews. I hopla – top the TripAdvisor list. No wonder given the fact that Bitcom’s digital association research has confirmed that the most important thing for people to buy is the opinion of other users. And much more important than comparing the prices and opinions of your friends, family and colleagues.


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