Alex Enabnit – Programming Coordinator
It has been said that every man has his price. If you’re not familiar with the expression, the idea is that no matter who you are, you could be persuaded into doing something that is against your moral code so long as the compensation is high enough. I think there are a few problems with this thought, but one stands out above the rest… and I don’t know if it’s what you’re thinking.
Recently I’ve come across a website that has a large selection of items at a huge discount – some of them 50% off their asking price, some of them 80% off, and even many items 100% off. Yup, free. Well, not exactly free. You see, this site will give you anything displayed at a discount, but the catch is in the fine print. In exchange for the deal, you have to provide an online review of the item on Amazon. To be legal, every reviewer has to put a disclaimer stating that they received the product at a discount or for free in exchange for their review.
Now this system isn’t flawed in and of itself, but I’ve seen a pattern develop that disturbs me. Sometimes, before requesting a product from this site, I’ll look at the item on Amazon and read some of the reviews of the product. Some of these products have very glowing reviews, sometimes most if not all of them are five star ratings! That must mean it’s an amazing product, right? Not necessarily. Oftentimes, all of the five star reviews have that little disclaimer at the end saying that they got the product for free. And the only reviews that are below five stars – sometimes at three, two, or even one star – don’t have the disclaimer at all. Those reviews were written by a person who paid full price and got a product that they weren’t happy with. Maybe that’s because it was defective… Maybe. But it’s more likely that they were being completely honest about a product that really wasn’t that great to begin with. The thing is, a lot of the people who were writing glowing reviews for an inferior product only do it so that they’ll be considered for more free items in the future. It’s an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality.
To me, I think this demonstrates that for many, their “price” is lower than they want to believe. Sure, a person may have major objections to committing a serious crime for a couple hundred thousand dollars. Good! But how about leaving a five star review for an iPhone case that’s objectively worth 3 stars, just because you got it for free? The scenarios are different, but the principles really are the same. It’s all about integrity.
You can’t just turn integrity on and off, it’s a way of life. It’s about moral uprightness in not just the big things, but also the minor ones. Whether it’s a very small bribe for a good review or something much, much bigger, a person with integrity stands firm no matter the situation. So how about you? What’s your integrity worth to you?
Click here for the photo credit on this post
Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse. Proverbs 28:6