It was in 2013 that I stopped clapping.
My clapping analysis began in the weekly school assembly. A slew of awards were being presented, each individually applauded. I felt an internal agitation surge through my body and my hands began to appear blotchy and feel tingly. I stopped clapping for each individual recipient and was immediately relived. While sitting in a crowd of clappers, not clapping felt odd at first, the realisation that the claps no longer signified any real appreciation, consoled my conscious.
I then began to wonder how many people clap at the cessation of a ceremony/performance and actually think about it; and how many people clap as a reflex response.
Clapping is disturbing. Clapping takes the calm, silent time at the conclusion of an event, during which each individual is considering and processing, turning it into a cacophony of slapping skin.
When I clap, the action immediately diverts my attention from appreciating whatever has just occurred, to the unpleasant and piercing sound of sweaty palms and the awful vibration which courses through my body upon the abrupt and forceful meeting of hands. Personally, I feel that the absence of a clap indicates a calm period of processing, acknowledgement or appreciation, during which, individuals can rest in peace with what they have just experienced.