About Reading and Responses

Carol Burt
3 min readJul 19, 2021

I wonder if anyone can tell me what happens when I’m reading someone’s story, and I get called away from my computer or have to go to the bathroom or whatever? Many times I’ve gone away from the computer for hours (to cook dinner, most likely), or to answer the door, etc., and when I come back, there’s the same story I was reading, and I’ve left it up on my screen all that time.

Do the authors not get credit when a story is left up for an unreasonable amount of time? What happens? When I come back and finish reading the piece, do they then get credit as if I never went off and left it? I sometimes wonder if I should shut it down and then reopen it so the author will get credit for me reading it. I’ve thought about this since I joined Medium, and I’ve always wondered what happens when I thoughtlessly go off and leave someone’s story up. Usually, I just go ahead and finish reading it, though sometimes I have to go back to the beginning if I’ve been away from the computer too long.


I try to respond, eventually, to everyone who comments on one of my stories. Sometimes it takes a while for me to find all the comments and write something back, even if it’s just a thank you. Please know, readers, that I want to respond to any comments you so graciously make on my work — good or bad. But I get behind.

But what do you do when it gets to the point that you have no time left to read new stories if you respond to all the comments? I’m personally not that popular yet. Or maybe not ever. But, I wonder.

I read many stories per day. I never let a day go by that I don’t read at least a few stories that interest me. I almost always respond, although sometimes I just highlight or clap 50 times. (What is wrong with people who won’t clap 50 times for an excellent piece, anyway?)

Anyway, I can see the time coming, just maybe, as I do better and work harder on the platform, that I may not be able to respond to every comment. Still, I’m going to try as hard and as long as I can. I probably will never get so popular I have hundreds of comments. But I know some here are that popular now.

Do the big names on Medium ever respond? I noticed a lot of the biggest names don’t bother to answer anyone. Maybe they wait and write one response, but I like to write responses to everyone individually. Is it not ignoring my readers if they take time to comment and I don’t bother to respond? It sure feels like it…

Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.