THERE’S a website which can have a profound effect on where you take your holiday.
I’m not going to give the site free advertising by naming it, but I’m sure you can guess which one it is.
Just about every hotel, restaurant and attraction is reviewed and rated several times over on what appears to be the digital oracle for holidaymakers.
Perhaps you’d like some quiet accommodation in Afghanistan. Or maybe you’d prefer a relaxing break in Burma? That’s no problem. Even some of Kabul and Rangoon’s better hotels are recommended on this site.
And, in case you’re wondering, the competition among Afghan hoteliers is surprisingly fierce with safety the main selling point.
For anyone who wants to travel further than the local Asda in their lifetime, it’s a useful website.
After you’ve set your budget, this website could be the next biggest influence as to where you choose to spend that precious fortnight or weekend.
But when I say it’s useful, I mean it’s helpful to a point.
There is a depressing and inevitable problem when perusing this holiday bible’s endless virtual pages.
The problem is that morons go on holiday. And while making insightful and balanced judgements about a hotel are clearly off the moron’s radar, posting their ill-informed, illiterate remarks on websites are very much within the idiot’s grasp.
Take one review of a restaurant in Greece. One traveller was disappointed that the eatery served ‘only Greek food’.
Maybe she was expecting egg and chips. Another was upset that the customers and waiters at a restaurant in Spain were ‘mainly Spanish’. My advice to them: stay at home, you’ll only be injured working out how to use the front door.
A website which allows the public to post its opinons, inevitably pays the price of publicising stupidity.
For those of us who’ve accepted it’s the 21st century, it’s not that tricky to perform basic tasks on a computer. My friend can manage – and her village only became au fait with electricity last week.
Cyberspace has not been immune from the rise of the digital idiots. You only have to visit a football or a newspaper forum to see some of the most cock-eyed, hateful drivel in abundance.
If I want to see a film I’d rather take the recommendation of a proper critic than trust a certain super-popular website – that too will remain nameless.
Anyone who has been on this website will be familiar with the ‘variety’ of its users’ reviews. And among the majority of sensible reviews there’s always one idiot sticking his/her oar in.
The Hottie And The Nottie is generally regarded as one of the worst films of this century. It stars Paris Hilton – that’s all you need to know. Yet it has numerous dullards singing its non-existent praises, including one who suggests that people disliked it because they had ‘cold hearts’.
On the same site American user ‘Sandwiches’ thought Casablanca was “more boring” because it was “filmed in black and white”.
Morons seem to rate films at either 10/10 or 1/10.
That’s because those with a deficit in intelligence only see things in black and white – despite the fact they’d rather coat themselves in honey and roll around knocking over beehives than watch a film in monochrome.
Clearly balance and context are also off the idiot’s radar. That said, being stung to death by aggrieved bees may sound like a good idea if your IQ test came back negative.
I’m not saying these websites are rendered useless by the intellectually challenged – far from it – otherwise we wouldn’t use them.
Moreover, allowing users to rate anything from food to films is democracy of a sort – and that’s usually a good thing.
Besides, some professional critics are so enamoured by their reflections that it makes you want to see a film they’ve panned just to prove them wrong.
But the seeping plague of stupidity means we need to exercise a little caution when we seek advice from the public.
Just bear that in mind next time someone advises you to see Paris Hilton’s next film or recommends you stay a cheap hotel in Kabul.