Thanks, Michael for the response — and the reaction.
As a reader, I find highlighting to be very annoying and distracting. If I open up a book that I picked up at the local used bookstore and begin reading only to find out that certain passages had been highlighted by a previous reader, I won’t read the book and I’ll wait until I can find a copy that had not been so flagrantly desecrated. I’m weird that way.
Whether I am reading a novel, a short story or a Medium article, I consider that an act of deep communion between TWO people: the author and the reader. For someone to barge in and alter the author’s tone, cadence and emphasis is just plain rude. It’s like the kids walking in on you while you’re mid-coitus with the wife. Literature Interruptus.
Yes, I realize that 98.43% of Medium users disagree with me but I’m not going to let that alter my thinking. I’m far too stubborn for that.
Personally, I have never followed anyone because of someone else’s words that they highlighted and I don’t judge them according to that other person’s words. I am more interested in what they say through their own words. And then I try hard not to judge them for those words, either. That is when an energetic communion can take place.
Anyway, if people want to highlight that is perfectly fine by me. Getting annoyed by it is futile. Who likes being annoyed? I just try to ignore it. Most parents eventually learn to lock their bedroom doors and turn the music up in order to drown out the sound of screaming kids. I’m a very slow learner, though, and I still accidentally get annoyed sometimes. Sometimes I vent that annoyance in a hopeless attempt to fully release it but that doesn’t really seem to work. It usually results in even more highlighting and my follower count going down. It’s a good thing I don’t care about numbers, right?