As a wise and savvy person, you want to make informed decisions. But what’s the first place you turn when you need to make a choice or embark on a particular path? Certainly, you may ask friends, family, or colleagues to share their experiences and opinions; after all, they know you well, and they can offer advice that’s tailored to your specific needs and preferences. You may also consult the reviews you find in a trusted publication, or you may conduct your own research using a variety of other data sources.

Social media also offers us a way to check into others’ opinions. Though you may not make a life-changing decision based on the comments you find online, you can find that social media comes in particularly handy when you’re looking into the everyday products and services you want and need. Whether you’re following the buzz around a new book via Twitter, checking a contractor or dentist’s ratings on Yelp, or scrolling through the comments on a company’s Facebook or LinkedIn page, reading through peoples’ reviews, tweets, and posts can help you make a more informed decision. (Granted, it’s often wise to take those comments with a grain of salt; but, if you observe a general trend—be it positive or negative—you’ll end up with a fairly well-rounded picture of a product or service’s strengths and weaknesses.)

Do the opinions you read on social media influence your purchasing and adoption decisions? Share your opinions below!