I was an active member on Yelp Boards for about 6 months late 2008, early 2009. And I admit, I met some cool people and went to A LOT of bars and dinners. The attitude on Yelp was generally cool, a bit edgy, but not too much, and it gave me a chance to eat/drink/dance at places my IRL friends would never go to.
I admit, it was a bandage for my crumbling real-world-life. My mother was, and still is, deathly sick. I got laid off in Dec. 2008. I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years in Sept. 2008 (one of the best moments of my life). I wasn't connecting with my old group of friends. I wanted an out, I wanted to party, booze up, and forget my plague-ridden life.
But that's where the good stuff ends. Someone posted very personal information about me on the boards. Instead of chastising the individual, people encouraged it. I know I should've left then, but I had invested a lot of time on Yelp and I didn't want to delete it just yet.
In mid-April, I met Chris, my current boyfriend. I had posted a pic of us on my profile page and I was upset that people were making derogatory remarks about him. He told me to get off the site and he MADE PERFECT SENSE! He said it was an uncontrolled environment and it was unnecessary drama. Besides that, I didn't want to support a business that was involved in shady dealings, such as extorting other businesses for money. So I closed my account.
About a month later, someone posted a thread about me, and it's main purpose was to defame my character. It contained OUTRIGHT LIES, such as I had herpes, I slept with so-and-so, I was a b*tch... typical papparazzi bullshit. What upset me the most was Yelp did not discipline any of these individuals, but allowed the thread to be up for two days. The only reason they took it off was when I made a new account to defend myself, then they deleted my comments and blocked me. They eventually deleted the thread and deleted my account.
Why am I writing this? I wanted a place in cyberspace where I could post my side of the story. Yelp continues to bring up my name and make derogatory comments, such as "I'm crazy" or my boyfriend is a leprechaun, or that Chris is ugly. The truth is, anyone who wants to know the truth about me, can find me. I'm very active on Twitter. I host four different meetups groups. I often Tweet where I'm going to be. I've started a food blog. I post pics. I'm open about my life.
There's a glaring discrepancy between what's depicted on Yelp and what is true in real life. Yelpers are NOT cool, they're NOT hip. Many of them are overweight, dorky, socially dysfunctional. They are small, they could not man up to Pee-Wee Herman, much less Chris. They would never dare speak that way to my face and they know it. If they did, they couldn't handle the consequences, so they cower in their boards, then run away when they see us in real life.
And vice-versa, the crap they say about Chris and I are NOT true. He's real, and he's my boyfriend, and I've posted many pics of him, he is NOT an ugly man. I am not "crazy" and I no longer participate in that group because I CHOSE NOT TO. Life is precious and I didn't want to spend it with negative, mean people that I have zero respect. And as much as people tell me to not let it get to me, it would piss me off, drama would ensue. And I don't want/need that in my life.
Then why am I posting this? Firstly for my real life friends, who still profusely use Yelp and look at me strange when I say that I no longer endorse them, now they know why. Secondly, for my Twitter friends wondering why I always bash Yelp on Twitter. And thirdly, I don't want to be silent. It's not fair that Yelpers get free reign to post gross inaccuracies and outright lies on their boards and I get banned when I post rebuttals. I know people don't give a crap, they're in to see the clusterfuck, but at least I have this tiny bit of cyberspace where I can have my say. And I just did.