Thursday’s Thought: Why Just One Clap?

Seriously, folks. I am trying to figure out why anyone would clap just one time for a story that any writer spent time writing.

Maybe a lot of time. Maybe weeks. Or more.

The point of clapping on this platform is to show appreciation, right? So what does one clap say when the maximum you could give is 50?

Someone took time to think of an idea (like the one I just saw on Karthik Rajan’s page and write a truly original article (as he always does), and I cannot understand why anyone reading it — or any other truly excellent articles here — wouldn’t give it the full 50!

Let’s look at surveys that ask us to rate a service or a product from 1–10, OK? You’ve all seen them: 1 is the lowest possible score on that survey, and 10 is best.

So giving something less than about mid-range, which is 5, is underwhelming for most. It’s unlikely anyone getting such a score is going to run around with happy thoughts (unless it’s a huge improvement from earlier 1s.)


No matter, it’s still an AVERAGE score, usually not worth getting excited about.

I mean, how many of us deliberately set out to be average? We are all average in some things. just as we’re all excellent in other things, but do we get up each morning, stretch, and say, “Hey, world! Here I come, and I’m excited about being just average today!”

I sure don’t, and I’ll bet you don’t, either.

So, why are we so reluctant to clap more than one time, which in a range of 1–50 really stinks? I mean, even 10 isn’t great, but it’s ten times better, and may almost — almost — feel like a pat on the back.


Doubtful, though.

When I’m delighted with someone or something, I’m DELIGHTED! I want to shout it out to the world! And I DO!

Hey, World! Come look! You have to see THIS! You’re gonna LOVE IT!

Don’t you do that? Don’t you get all excited and show it?

(I wonder if you might be subscribing to the terribly outdated notion that someone will get a swelled head with too much praise.)

You’re not. Right? I hope not. Because those who earn praise for great stuff they’ve done — no matter what the stuff is — are inspired to keep on keeping on, in part by how their “stuff” is received.

It doesn’t cost anything to clap wildly here when you’re delighted after having read a great article.

It doesn’t hurt your finger for more than two seconds.

But it could mean the world to writers who are struggling to find their voice, struggling to find their audience — and hoping against hope that someone out there likes their article.

So, here on Medium — reading something original that you really do like — why would you NOT give it at the barest minimum 25 claps? Encouragement is a wonderful way to help others see their value.

Of course, if you’re truly daring, you could up the ante.


Live a little! Dare to show real appreciation! (Your mother will thank you, and so will I.)


I believe in the power of positivity. There’s too much negativity in today’s world, and I would like to see us all take a stand and find the good things that are happening all around us.

That’s why I started a new series, “Changing the Narrative: Finding the positive stories in a negative world,” to celebrate unsung heroes and organizations that are making a difference in countries all around the world.

I invite you to join me as I search for stories to tell.

Let’s find reasons to celebrate all the great people and accomplishments that are all around us!

My first two stories in this series:

Do you know of a nonprofit I could profile? Something or someone doing great work that hardly anyone knows about? Something maybe a little offbeat?

I would love to hear from you!

The Grammar Goddess | Editor | Corporate Educator Cruciverbalist | Happy Woman | Let me find and fix your typos before you publish. |

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