HENRY FORD: This is the Model T. It has wheels and vrooms.
YOU: LOL WTF HANK. I have a horse already. What a stupid idea.
STEVE JOBS: This is the iPad. It’s a rectangle that shoots Internet to your eyeballs.
YOU: Oh, you mean like a computer? LOL WTF STEVE. What a stupid idea.
MEDIUM: You can clap now.
YOU: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OMG I HATE IT. What a stupid idea.
Hi. You’re upset. Medium went and changed things AGAIN. Once you calm down and have a yummy snack and a quick little nappy poo, I invite you to remember a few things.
1. You’re a human and you hate change.
Remember when Twitter switched to hearts? What a disaster. Until we all got used to it and learned to love it.
Remember when Instagram changed its logo and layout? Irreparable damage. Until we all got used to it and learned to love it.
Remember when Medium switched to claps? They’re just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. Except…you’ll get used to it and learn to love it. Here’s why.
2. Clapping is fun for readers.
Go ahead and tap the clap button. Color explosion! A vibrant little “HI THERE!” that bursts out with every interaction.
I’ve noticed that I’m engaging with other posts a lot more already, and it’s because clapping is liberating. Before, all I had to give was one recommendation. This meant I was attaching my credibility to every rec I gave. So I held back and saved them for the stuff I truly loved.
But now? I recognize effort a lot more and I’m allowed to applaud it.
3. Clapping is fun for writers.
My numbers are bigger. Your numbers are bigger. ALL OF OUR NUMBERS ARE BIGGER.
Stuff that would have gotten ten recommendations now gets hundreds of claps. Stuff that would have gotten hundreds now gets thousands. Stuff that would have gotten thousands now gets tens of thousands. Stuff that would have gotten tens of thousands is still Benjamin P. Hardy.
4. It’s okay. This will all be okay.
Clapping is new, so it’s the worst. I get it. Feel free to stay angry, but consider joining the party.