Not quite what it seems…

I’ve just come back from a trip to India and there were a few issues with our accommodation. I used an online booking site for some of the hotels and discovered, the hard way, that the photos posted and the accompanying reviews may not necessarily be one hundred percent truthful.

In fact after we decided not to stay in one particular hotel, my adult kids were looking at some of the reviews and the photo of at least one of the people who had posted a positive review looked suspiciously like the employee who had carried our bags.

You think I would have learned my lesson after a similar debacle my girls and I had at a hotel in Fiji a couple of years ago.

But isn’t it the same everywhere in the online world. Everyone seems to post the heavily varnished truth – so we can all think better of them. Surface gloss, that when you look a little closer reveals the not so great truth.

Everyone is looking for the best angle, the best way to present themselves, their business or whatever else they are spruiking.

Ever visited something that you have seen photographed over and over on the internet and when you get there you think – hello? Everything looks bigger and fancier on screen.

Our visit to the Taj Mahal was a case in point. Impressive, sure, but nothing like the grandeur the photos depict. The jewel in the Indian tourist crown isn’t as well kept as you might think.

It’s a bit disappointing when online doesn’t live up to expectations in real life. A let down in fact. Everything online should be taken with a pinch of salt and then some. Maybe a whole saltshaker would be better!

Stories are ripe for disappointment when the cover and the blurb set you up, as the reader, for high expectations and then you come crashing down.

As a Kindle reader I subscribe to a couple of services that allow me to pick up free or discounted books. I’ve found some okay reads, some gems and some new favourite authors but also some disappointments that I’ve given the flick.

I hope when it’s my turn I can find the balance between readers expectations and their reality. I prefer to fly under the radar than make a big splash – but time will tell…

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