God help restaurants, waiters who try to navigate around diners who are staring at their phones, and diners in general, who may never appreciate a meal for what it is, in the moment, ever again. What are we babbling about? Yelp just announced that it’s enabling users to write and publish reviews on their mobile device. Yelp’s official blog posted that “Yelpers can now contribute their useful, funny and cool reviews directly from their Yelp mobile application (available today on iOS and coming soon to Android).” Additionally, any photos that a Yelper takes of the business they’re reviewing will appear in-line with their mobile reviews, just like on the website. Prior to today, Yelp offered users the option to leave a “Tip” after checking in at a business, but that was the only mobile review a person could post.
Eater astutely points out Yelp’s possible motivation for enabling live reviewing:
Now, let’s think about what this live reviewing means—for restaurants and bars, specifically. People will be eating at the newest hotspot with their taco, burger, or Cronut in hand, while holding their iPhone or Android in their other hand and hammering away at their Yelp review. Live Yelp reviewing will, undoubtedly, distract diners from the food in front of them, essentially depriving them of the joy or pleasure they would normally derive from eating that food. It will take away the pleasure of dining even more than Tweeting and Instagramming, because Yelp reviews can be long and drawn out, unlike a simple tweet or Instagram post. And we will all have to tolerate the droves of diners, pretending that they’re goddamn Pete Wells while their taco gets cold. God help us all.