It`s just something I noticed recently I guess, with all the seminars and oral presentations going on on the faculty. And every single time, people applauded in the end.

OK, here`s what dictionary.com has to say about applause.

1. Approval expressed especially by the clapping of hands.
2. Praise; commendation: a scientific discovery that won critical applause.

Approval or/and praise. Something positive. in general.

But it seems that applause is being used just for the sake of it. As if it was something that has to be done and everybody is just saying “Oh what the hell…let`s do it!“. To me, this attitude is very disturbing. I hate when people applaude me. And on the other hand, I only applaude when something is either a) intereseting b) well-prepared or c) both. From which I can deduct that I applaude only when “the price is right” and not just cause the event ended. And even then with only a few claps. This “clap you hands off eventhough the whole thing sucks and I never listened to it in the first place” culture frame is not my cup of tea.

This auto-pilot clapping does more damage than good. First, it makes the author think that he/she did a good job, eventhough that is sometimes not the case. The author then assumes the level of its presentation is high and does not need any tweaking. Second, it lowers the standards for such presentations, since everybody is always clapping, therefor expressing approval becomes something necessary. The whole thing turns from “you can applaude” to “you must applaude“, ruining the whole point of an applause.

Please, the next time think before you clap your hands together. It`s not just for kids!