Digital Trails: hotel reviews

I have been booking hotel rooms recently, and have been fascinated by some of the reviews written by guests.

“I dont understand how (xxx).com still offers this hotel. It’s not even a hotel. It’s a crack house.

We needed a cheap place to stay for 8 hours before our flight. We got there after midnight for late check in. First of all no one at the front desk.

Had to wait 10 min for a scrary (sic) looking man to comes give me key. I told my wife stay in car while I checked the room.

I open the door took 2 steps in and walked right out. The smell was so bad. The walls were dirty. The wallpaper was falling off.

I would not stay there if they paid me.

Seriously.”

The reviews relate experiences, many with comic virtue and some with human ones.

Who are the people behind this complaint that conjures images from Psycho?

What do they look like? How do they sound? What are their stories? How do they see the world and why?

In the digital world we occupy today we leave a trail wherever we go. It carries great risk of the loss of privacy and forces us to double down against the overwhelming reach of Big Brother. But at the same time it is a space where our voices are there to be heard.

In an age when we rarely listen to each other these footprints in the digital sand around us can offer a glimpse into understanding the other. By comparing our images from these experiences to their reality we have an opportunity to comprehend the gap in our understanding that keeps us apart.

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