ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Who Gives It A One-Clap Clap?

One-clap claps puzzle me

Photo by Austin Ban on Unsplash

Left to my own devices, and especially when I need to procrastinate other stuff, you will find me tapping at the keyboard with a sense of urgency, ie writing.

I don’t qualify for the title of writer, it is not imposter syndrome, I just do not make it to the cut. I probably do not qualify for the title of reader either, nobody is perfect. So what are you doing in here? I hear you asking.

I guess a fairly accurate description would be that I am parked here and I just enjoy reading people, so much better than swiping people. An unconventional bohémienne, if you asked me.

YET, when the stars align and Mars is in retrograde — no idea what that means but I thought it would give me an edge — I publish something, which, when algorithms are on their lunch break, gets read by a nice bunch of people. This much I can tell by watching from Medium’s parking lot.

Every now and then, when Mars squares Pluto — see astrological explanation above — some of my stories get applauded, and some of the above-mentioned nice bunch of people even drop a comment, and when this hell-of-an-astral-alignment happens it fuels my heart for weeks. Thank you, you!

Amongst all this bliss, there is one question which has got me wondering more often than I am ready to admit. Why do some people give one single clap? Why?

One solo clap. Is it even a thing? I mean, do it with me, join your hands vigorously enough to make them clap, you can not physically stop at one single clap, can you? Your hands naturally bounce back and pick up a pace to form a critical sequence identifiable as “clapping”, are you still with me?

I have never given a one-clap clap neither on Medium nor elsewhere, and on the receiving end, I have often wondered about the meaning of it.

Please help me understand, why would anyone give a one-clap clap?

  • Was it a way to casually drop your business card at my doorstep?
  • Was it out of courtesy or that thing that starts with P and ends in -ITY?
  • Was it a pat in the back?
  • Did you mean to encourage me to work harder? or,
  • Did you mean to discourage me from ever trying again?
  • Were you trying to tick an imaginary moral box?
  • Were you trying to morally blackmailing me into reciprocating claps?
  • Were you just crossing the Medium parking lot, noticed my story could do with some love, clapped once, then changed your mind?
  • Did you hit the clap icon by mistake, while trying to go back to the previous story?

Don’t get me wrong, keep single clapping if that is your thing, won’t judge, yet I am curious. I mean, in the real world, no-one starts to clap to suddenly stop after one clap, even slow sarcastic claps come in a calculated sequence. What is your reason or motivation for dropping one-clap claps? Fair enough if you say just because I can.

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