Hi Ann,

I always respond whenever I get an alert for the comment. Oddly enough, I’m looking at 25 missed alerts on Medium and didn’t get one email. I just so happened to log in and see all these comments and claps that I totally wasn’t prepared for. Here’s my thing: If someone took the time to read my post and respond to it, I always reply back unless it’s a close-ended comment that doesn’t particularly need a reply. I even respond to the negative replies — minus Trump supporters. I just don’t have the patience for some of the racism that goes into those comments. Outside of Trump, there’s a 99.99% chance I’ll respond.

Here’s my argument for responding. People are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all day long. Writers are writing content and spending hours creating various posts. So why not engage? That one person you reply to may become a long-time follower who will support more of your stuff and share it on their own social media, etc. If they all just become one big blob of people, then it kinda paints a picture like you can take them or leave them.

Although my question was more rhetorical (and kinda snarky), that’s really what I meant. I see writers respond in other platforms. I, of course, also don’t know what most writers do. But I see busy journalists as well as first-time authors who will respond, retweet, share and even write follow-up posts on people’s comments. In my opinion, if you had time out of your busy day to leave me a comment, then I have enough time out of mine to show the same respect/attention to you. It just seems like good manners to me.

With that said though, the only time I usually throw in the towel is when I’m just getting overloaded with hate tweets (usually from political debates), so in those cases, I opt out and throw block parties.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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