How important are descriptions and settings? I am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to writing short stories. If my story takes place in a bar, I rather not go into too many details about the bar. I see it as a bit of a distraction from the story. I also don't go into too many details about what my characters look like. Again, if it doesn't really matter to the story, I don't put it in. I read a lot of literary journals and don't see the writers in them putting too much weight into description and setting very often. I'm not talking about none, just not too much.
However, I took a writing class where I was told over and over again to describe my characters and settings in more detail. So, how do you know how much is enough and how much is too much? I thought I knew where the line was, but my classmates disagree.