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The cult of rating culture

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Stars do twinkle but they hoodwink too

Doorbell rung, I opened the door, took my packet of curried parmesan fish fingers with the yoghurt dip from Zomato’s delivery guy, paid the requisites, and was about to run inside to devour on the delicacy, but then I heard an echoing voice, ‘rating please’.’

Today rating culture is everywhere, from once being a trend to getting finely absorbed in the aura of our societal dimensions, it has moulded or basically condensed our understanding of likings and dislikings to mere five stars. Gen Z believes that rating culture has saved time and money by alerting people beforehand of the service they are going to pursue.

According to them ratings provide people an idea about what they actually gonna get, and it is indeed much more helpful when people randomly order something from an e-commerce platform or from a newly inaugurated cloud kitchen. The rating stars are even helpful in saving our first date by not letting it get ruined by a plan of watching a random movie of a Star kid, by giving us a disclaimer in form of 1.5 to 2 stars.

Today, we often resist ourselves to try new things and places by seeing just the mere rating online on our screens these stars many times even form a vent for one’s office exasperation, as people usually dine in restaurants, eat a complete meal with satisfaction and just because they were vexed, sign out with a horrible rating on the scorecard but yeah feel bit eased up after this misdemeanor. But have we ever wondered whether the luminance of these rating stars could hoodwink us? This means these stars hold the competence to gradually hegemonize our thinking.

To validate the above point, the US Uber driver’s case is worth mentioning, where the judge conclusively compared the employment status of Uber drivers with the panopticon in Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. As rating a service or a service person, make them realize that every next step they are going to take in the service there are in will be monitored or rated per se, which might sometimes even motivate them to do their task in a much more efficient way, though this may prima facie look a positive outcome of rating culture but this outcome forms just one side of a tarot card.

What we don’t realize is, how these mere five non-twinkling stars could sculpt and construct the thinking of a person. Rating today is everywhere, every person or business, somehow associates with it. Do you remember the modern dazzling damsel, Pooh from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? The girl who rated guys, for selecting her dance partner. Like Pooh, today we often see children rating the love of their parents, which they think is a mere service to them. Though this is not what children do intentionally but subconsciously, as everywhere around them, there is nothing but a race of comparison and rating going on.

Today’s generation is so deeply though latently affected by these stars, that sometimes their sole objective, of getting or probably giving a service or maybe buying an article, becomes the rating. We could also see a similar craze in our nearby local markets, where many shops, instead of having a welcome board hanging out, have a board of Rating Please!

Nowadays, any random trend, which gets popularity from Instagram or YouTube for that matter, casually gets imbibed in our day-to-day lifestyle. Children today and surprisingly many adults too are getting influenced so easily by these day-to-day trends and hashtags that the line between a trend and simply a hegemonizing tool is getting blurred. People need to realize and understand the difference, to prevent themselves from getting hoodwinked so easily.

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