One of the great things about the Internet is how much research you can do on it before making a purchase. I do a lot of online shopping (Amazon.com is my FAVE), and it's nice to see what other people think of a product before I shell out any bucks for it. Recently we installed an induction cooktop in our kitchen, which requires a certain type of cookware. I searched for items that were specifically made for induction cooking, and the prices were through the roof! I didn't want to spend the same amount on the pots and pans as I did on the appliance! I figured my best bet would be to buy items that weren't necessarily marketed or produced solely for induction, but just happened to work on them. The way to know if something is induction-capable is to hold a magnet to its base and see if it sticks. Well, that test is not easily performed over the Internet! The next best thing was to read the reviews. I would find a cookware set that I thought looked good, and then peruse the reviews to see if anyone mentioned using them on their induction stoves. This helped me eliminate some candidates and eventually choose an affordable set that has worked perfectly for us.
On the flip side, reviews can really make me second-guess a purchase I thought I was set on. It's hard to please everyone all of the time, so I know I have to take some people's comments with a grain of salt. Even with that said, it's hard to ignore negative reviews. We've recently started looking for a fence company and have been reading reviews online. When you come across a company that has 75% glowing reviews and 25% less than thrilled reviews, what do you do? Obviously they pleased a majority of the folks, but others were left disgusted. It's hard to know what kind of experience you'll personally have with something, when you're trying to take someone else's word for it. While I do take notice of negative reviews, I don't place an exorbitant amount of faith in them, especially when they are few and far between. Don't get me wrong - if a company or product has nothing but negative reviews, or a large majority of bad comments, I will look for an alternative. But, I won't write off a possibility if just one person hated their experience. As the saying goes, don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch!
I think the same can be said for people. There will always be somebody who met you while you were having a bad day, and they leave the experience with a negative opinion of you. That's understandable. In that situation, you can only hope that there are enough people out there willing to write you a positive review because most days with you aren't bad apple days!