Why I Won’t Post Comments On Medium (Any More)

This is going to be short, sweet and to the point:

I don’t comment on Medium any more and you shouldn’t either.

Here’s why:

Medium isn’t a social media platform. I’m not sure that Medium itself realizes this. It has something to do with the structure of the website itself.

Do this experiment. Pick any article on Medium. Any article. Read the comments. Do the comments mean very much to you? Did they add any value to the information contained in the original article? Is there any real dialogue going on? Did the author of the article respond to the comments? Did anyone comment on the comments?

(I used “To Understand Facebook, Study Capgras Syndrome” by Robert Sapolsky for this purpose, which just happened to be about how social media creates a false sense of recognition between people who don’t really know each other.
Professor Sapolsky’s article draws an interesting correspondence between the terrible and complementary dislocations of Capgras delusions and prosopagnosia, and draws an analogy with how social media affects our perceptions of relationships. Read the article for the details.)

Nothing I could possibly write would have any bearing on Prof. Sapolsky’s thesis. My agreement is meaningless (and I do agree with him.) My disagreement would be meaningless. There is also virtually no possibility that I would receive a comment in return from Prof. Sapolsky, because, on the basis of the article itself, I doubt that he would find any reason to waste his time replying to me. He said what he wanted to say, raised a question and generated the awareness that he wanted to create in those readers who understood what he was writing about.

Medium is a publishing platform. It’s not a social media environment. Cross commenting on articles wastes your time (and clutters up your Medium account with lots of comments that make it difficult for anyone to track back through your articles to follow your train of thought on the subjects you’re writing about.

So, having come to this conclusion, I am now in the process of deleting all of the comments I’ve made on other people’s articles. I understand from some of the articles on Medium that this means people won’t read or comment on my articles if I don’t read or comment on theirs.

This leads me to question why I am posting anything on Medium at all. If I am not interested in feedback, why bother.

I will have to think about this some more.

Alan is a poet, journalist, short story writer, editor, website developer, and political activist. He is the executive editor of BindleSnitch.com.

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