July 19th, 2006

May I Recommend…

Slowly but surely I’m cutting back on recommending things to people. Sure, I have the same natural urge as you: if I find a good thing, I want others to find it, too. But I’ve decided to stop doing it.

It’s a learned response, really. Lately it seems that anything I suggest is not only not liked, but hated. I can only hear “How can you like that?” so many times before I realize I’m better off not saying anything at all.

Now, of course, I’ll still talk about things I like, it’s what we do, after all – we talk about things we like and debate about things we don’t – but I’m slowly trying to get “Hey, you oughtta…” and “You should…” out of my speech patterns.

I think the best way to take suggestions from someone is to get to know them. If they’ve given opinions on and the opinions are close to your own, then you can feel a bit safer taking suggestions from them in the future. I’ve witnessed conversations online about the Spider-Man movies where people have said, “These are bad movies.” I instantly know from that one sentence that I’m not going to give much heed to their opinions on further movies, particularly superhero ones. There’s a huge difference between saying “I didn’t care for the movie” and “It’s a bad movie.”

I recently watched Superman Returns and loved it. The next day I read Roger Ebert’s two-and-a-half star review of it and disagreed vehemently with him. Then I read the local reviewer’s take on it and found he was saying the exact things I thought about the movie. (This is the same fellow I used to go to sneak previews of movies with down in Indy, and I’ve found I agree with 90% of his reviews.) When it comes down to it, if I’m deciding whether or not I want to see a particular movie, I’ll give the local guy’s opinion way more weight than Roger Ebert’s.

It’s not just movies, of course – books, desserts, travel destinations, anything. The more you know about that person’s opinion history compared to yours, the more credence you can give his current opinion.

So, find out what I like and don’t and decide for yourself if my opinion means anything to you. I’m tired of suggesting things and being mocked for my opinions, and I also don’t like suggesting things people end up not liking. Caveat emptor, and all that.

4 Comments on “May I Recommend…”

  1. Dr. Beth says:

    Recommend things to me anytime! I value your opinion, and you have never led me astray…

  2. HorizonPurple says:

    He's lead me astray, but I forgave him.

  3. Abe. says:

    I'm in the same boat as Mark, or maybe I just talk to the wrong people… I don't know. What I do know, is that I rarely recommend anything anymore.

  4. Meags says:

    I don't learn as quickly as Mark does. I recommend stuff to people because I want people to enjoy the awesomeness!! They can't possibly have a differing opinion!!! :shifty:

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