Hometown reviews carry a lot of weight

We often unintentionally become the expert for what others have not experienced. Someone who has never visited your town, will likely believe whatever you say about it.



August 10, 2021 - 7:44 AM

The south side of Iola's downtown square. Photo by Richard Luken

Customer reviews are a staple in the digital world. If you cannot see a product in person, the next best thing is reading about another person’s experience. The trust we instinctively place in each other’s opinions and observations are not limited to product reviews. Our everyday conversations leave impressions we probably never think about.

Years ago, I took friends home to visit my family in Wisconsin.  I was completely unaware of my friends’ apprehensions created by the colorful stories shared of my childhood home and adventures. I was slightly embarrassed to learn how relieved they were when we pulled into the yard of a perfectly normal country home instead of the “two double-wide trailers stacked on top of each other” they were expecting.

Some self-reflection helped me to realize I was sharing only entertaining stories about the quirky habits of my family, mischievous adventures my siblings and I undertook, and my dad’s impressive levels of inventiveness and ingenuity. I never really talked about more objectively normal things.

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