It’s Not A Medium Problem
January 1st, 2016
I have read many posts lamenting the poor exposure, redundant slick-yet-gauche Top 10 Lists (perhaps written by AI, right fullyfuelled?), as well as other problems many writers feel they are having on Medium.
I, too, feel similar frustrations pop up in my head from time to time, usually when I am pissed off about something else in my life.
The predominant complaint so far, besides whether or not CamMi is a nice person in real life, is the relative lack of exposure many of us lonely egomaniacs feel we get on Medium. I say relative because that is exactly what EVERYTHING is. We tend to avoid and forget that juicy little detail as we hum along.
It turns out that not every problem that we face when publishing and reading on Medium is Medium’s fault. Sure, there may be some things that everyone, including Medium Staff (capitalized just in case), would admit, could spruce up the joint a bit, but nothing is perfect.
I will say that again, to stress the main point of my main point. Nothing is perfect and that includes Medium.
With that out of the way, it becomes a bit easier to invite you to take some of your self esteem off the table and keep it for yourself. In my opinion, the most important thing that you could do about your M problem is change your expectations of M.
Thank God (capitalized just in case) it is thr first day of 2016, because you likely are in the mood for change and there may be a bit more room to squeeze one more resolution somewhere in there.
Some Things To Help You Realign Your Expectations In Easy To Read List Format
1- Medium is not Facebook or Twitter
It is different and has been designed that way for a unique experience. The number of followers is somewhat important on any platform, M included, but quality and or craftsmanship count as well. Medium is not designed for the fast food validation you are used to on Twitter or Facebook so relax like you are out at a fancy restaurant for the entire evening. Peruse the wine list here and ask questions about the House Specials. I guarantee your curiosity will be consistently satiated.
2- People read what they feel like reading
Let people read what they feel like reading even if it’s not your stuff. Accept that many of us can be manipulated by a good title or image. Our brains need a balance of both intense introspective thought and epiphany moments, with selfish superficial mini donut binges as well.
3- Don’t worry so much about the Internet in general
The internet, with all of its sights and sounds, can start to dominate your life as it fills up your Prefrontal desktop, one connection at a time. Try to get off of M, or Facebook, or whatever site you are on for a while, to invest in your more intimate relationships. Regroup and refuel. Complain to them about M until they tell you to shut up, or start to agree with everything you say, like mine do to me. Write articles about how mad you are, and how unfair it all seems, as this is great writing practice. If you see the same type of article become popular on M, or any other site, learn from the techniques they use.
Never underestimate your own style, and try to remember that your time may be coming when trends change.
4- Recognize we’re all a bit entitled from time to time
Many of us, on sites like these, are intelligent people who greatly value ideas, words, and communication in general, AND have a host of other specialized talents. Many of us are used to being noticed and applauded while swimming in the small ponds of our past. It can be confusing when we jump into this virtual ocean, and shrink in relative scale to the point of being food for the plankton. The internet is not for the faint of heart, you will have to be clever and strong, to survive.
Medium itself is full of sharks, attracted by the blood of overcompensating pufferfish.
Ignore the fact that others are getting more LIKES or RECOMMENDS than you and focus on finding your inner Nemo (or an alternate inspirational corporately created symbol). My writing will NEVER get enough attention because the very fact that you and I are interested in this stuff in the first place, is because our self esteem exists on a slippery slope. I used to dream of an article getting 100 views on my personal site https://simonsayspsychstuff.wordpress.com/ . Now I want 10,000.
Maybe one day, if I work hard enough, I can dream about wanting 25,000.
5- Leave or Stay we don’t care
Now, I mean this in the nicest way possible; most people in the world don’t really care about most of the stuff that you or I do. Whether you leave M, or stay, is up to you, and I wish you the best either way. I would urge you just to ignore the stats or popularity aspect despite it’s being such a tantalizing thing to focus on. Or be glad that fellow humans are taking the time to praise one another. How you reframe all of this is up to you.
If you desire more commercial success, it may be more helpful to just continue to practice your writing, and pay attention to what types of articles are getting more airtime. Most of my friends don’t especially like most of the stuff I write, so I keep a diary to complain about my friends.
I am still looking for someone to complain to, about my diary.
Simon Trepel, MD
Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor, at the University Of Manitoba, in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Co-founder of the GDAAY Clinic. He is, more importantly, the proud Father of 2 beautiful Daughters. He writes in his spare time about things he knows something about, and occasionally about things he doesn’t; like Yoga, and Italian flavored coffees. He is working through his own issues first and once he is done, he will get around to yours.
Check out his Blog, called Simon Says Psych Stuff, at