Roz, if you read and clap often, your claps are virtually worthless. If you read five stories per day, that is roughly 150 stories per month. If you divide your $5.00 by 150 stories you get roughly 3 cents per clap. And that is only if you only give 1 clap per story. Clap more than once and your claps are worth even less.
It is ironic that the less you read, the more your claps are worth on Medium. So why put pressure on yourself to reciprocate claps when you are only throwing pennies around? Unless you just enjoy doing it. Then knock yourself out. 😉🙂
Personally, I would rather spend my time reading things I enjoy, then trying to find a story I like by someone who writes solely about topics I have no interest in.
I don’t feel we owe anyone anything for their claps. That should be how they show appreciation, not an obligation. In my opinion—which is worth about 1 clap. 🙂