Pros and Cons of Online Reviews

I am fascinated how Reviews can sway one's opinion on things, wether it's a choice for restaurants, hotels or retail stores. Since when did we become so dependent on words of others? I am guilty of it in some ways until I realized that believing other people's reviews on places that I haven't been to is one clear example of prematurely passing judgment. I taught my children to  "unless you experience it yourself, you should not give rise to prejudice" and here I am not doing what I preached. 
But it was short-lived, I used to not give a chance to places with less than 3 stars, not anymore. I was proven so wrong many times by these Reviews. I will show you the difference on how Negative and Positive Reviews affected how I shop or dine. There's this Sushi place near where we live that only has 2 1/2 stars, my husband said he thinks it's not a good idea to waste our money on this place. But I said, we wouldn't know until we try.
The Verdict: 4 1/2 stars, the other half is for slow service, I think because they were jam-packed BUT the quality and taste of the food is an easy 5-Phenomenal! It turned out to be one of the best sushi we've ever had, well, not since New York. But you see what I mean. If we let the Reviews sway us then we would have just missed the opportunity to know what they can  offer, which is topnotch & fresh quality sushi. And for the owner/Chef of this place, he would have missed the opportunity of gaining new customers because of the negative reviews but he continued to prove them wrong. I guess since  the location was predominantly white and the selection of food is very limited to mostly American food, people here was not accustomed to sushi therefore off they went as keyboard warriors and unfairly blasted this mom & pop sushi place. Just because you are not accustomed to the taste doesn't mean it tasted bad. And guess what, this place just gained 12 more customers just from us and are now a solid 4 1/2 stars.
That is where word of mouth comes in. This is the core of our belief. There is no more than honest and effective marketing than word of mouth. This is not something that you can read online as Reviews, because admit it, those reviews can easily be fake and edited to serve their own purpose and agenda. But no one can deny the power of truth. But how do we know the truth? Simple, experience it yourself, don't believe just because you heard it from the grapevine.  Remember, if you do this, you could be missing out on something that is truly wonderful.