The Clapping Game

To clap or not to clap? Conclusions on the day of my two-months anniversary on Medium

A.M. Radulescu
4 min readJun 29, 2021


Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

Undoubtedly, Medium is a great platform that has developed greatly in its almost 10-years run. It houses dozens of publications, from mammoths like The Start-Up or Personal Growth, to the little guys with tons of spunk, such as Rogue’s Gallery or Lighterside. But its drive comes from its writers, a large army of creators, both experienced or just starting out.

One of the reasons for that is the sense of community facilitated by all of Medium’s engagement features: claps, comments, highlights, private notes, follows, and so on. If an article spoke to you, it’s easy to express that, almost instantly. You can connect with fellow writers and build bonds across vast distances, alleviate feelings of loneliness, of not fitting in. Find your tribe — a popular saying here.

Enough poetry for you? Then let’s get to this article’s main purpose — the stinginess of clappers.

Yes, yes, this was discussed by probably all writers here on one point or another. Keyboards were beaten mercilessly, cheeks have reddened, smoke billowed out of ears, you get the idea. But as a fairly new contributor, celebrating my two-months anniversary today (go figure), this is a topic I approached with caution in the face of insufficient data. However, the dam needs to burst.

Look, I don’t pretend for a minute to be the greatest thing since Guttenberg’s press, but I find it disheartening when after hours of work an update notifies me of receiving one clap or two for my dedication. Okay, I get it, you didn’t love the article enough to give it 50 claps, that’s totally up to you. But for me, one clap equals a feeble pat on the back, a there-there. Or to cite Medium’s self-proclaimed bear hug expert Shashank Sahay:

1 clap = Oh, okay, so you wrote something, I guess it’s nice. I’m a kind person. There, I clapped for it.

I would prefer to have 0 claps than 1. The former is honest, the latter reeks of pity. Personally, I out-clap almost every time an article sparks even an ember of interest, as a sign of support and appreciation. And when love at first read happens I make it known…



A.M. Radulescu

Certified bookworm, published author, hopeful dreamer, advertising professional. Writing about life and self-growth.