Clubhouse. In, or out?

Another day, another social media channel. But do we really want to join? Or do we merely just want to be invited?

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You’re probably too cool to care, but here are my thoughts about the C word that’s spreading faster – and seemingly becoming even more life or death – than Corona.

I’m talking about Clubhouse, which is for some reason (in a world where we’ve got slightly more worrying things to lose our sh*t about at the moment) the ‘exclusive’ new social media platform that’s, “like, totally the biggest thing, EVER” in some people’s lives right now.

The whole thing amuses me, and not least because a popular women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine referred to Clubhouse as an upgrade hybrid of The X Factor, a nightclub, and Loose Women. Kill. Me. Now. Still, it’s a slightly more descriptive offering than the publication who detailed it as ‘Like Instagram, but without the pictures’. Jeeeeeeesus… my job as a writer is probably safe, methinks.

Now, this blog isn’t me belittling the platform’s intentions or offering. Social media is a massive part of all our lives, and I don’t think any of us can really knock the power of anything that comes out of Silicon Valley. It’s safe to say that the whole thing is going to make a lot of money for its creators purely for operating in the social media sphere, and I don’t scoff at any of that – at all. My issue is people’s reaction to it – especially in the face of very little information available. This in turn, gets massive praise from me for the product and its PR, because even though the creators have actually said little more than “it’s not intended to be exclusive“, it’s got people completely losing their minds and believing the hype; their own hype, should they already be in.

I accept that people will be excited by this new social media distraction in such a tough time – to escape, to learn, to showcase… but there’s something about Clubhouse that’s making people worryingly revert to an almost teenage mentality, because it’s not really the platform that entices them. It’s the thrill of being invited into something that nobody else has been accepted into. Social status media, if you will.

So, whilst I’ve yet to lose my mind over it all, I do have thoughts about Clubhouse. I can’t join anyway though, no matter what you say if this triggers you, because I’m not an Apple user (a rare breed, allegedly). I can’t say it’s even attempting to entice me with that name, anyway…

So what’s going through your head, Jo?

Well first up, I have a 3 year old child, so I hear the name ‘Clubhouse’, and I instantly think of Mickey Mouse, The Hot Dog Dance, and that maybe a mystery Mousketool can help us. With what, I don’t know, but that’s where my mind goes, nonetheless. Clubhouse is a brilliant name for a new place for all the cool kids to gather. If those cool kids are indeed pre-schoolers.

No FOMO, Jo?

Fear Of Missing Out? On a social media platform? Really? Shocking, I know, but I can’t help thinking that if people are going to media-whore themselves out on a new platform, I can probably catch them doing it on all the other channels anyway.

In (naturally) wanting to find out what Clubhouse was all about initially, I admit it sounded a bit intriguing, if not appealing to me directly. Mainly, though, I just found it hilarious that the only synopsis I could really find was a variety of iterations on different sites that promised me, ‘Drake and Kanye West are already in’ and apparently ‘starting up fierce conversations’. Well, I’m sorry I’m not there for that meeting of minds…

Despite the incredulity, I’m loving the fall-out. Sorry, the ‘roll-out’. Whilst I find it ridiculous that people are actively scrabbling around for an ‘invite’, I do take some joy in the fact that all of the cool kids are losing their shit at a) not having been accepted or invited, and b) the fact that the less popular kids seem to be walking straight in with relative ease. The 13 year old me is especially delighted.

And on that note of invites… with the concept of ‘invite only’, snottiness about people not being invited in, and everyone with half an adult brain knowing that it’s all childish irrelevant bollocks (as with most of social media), is anyone else thinking this is exactly like when Peppa Pig went pig sh*t crazy because everyone was eventually gaining access to and f***ing up ‘Secret Club’…? Just me?

Of course, whilst I’m always in two minds about social media in relation to whether it helps or harms people, if it does indeed help people, that’s great. If your audience is on there, and you can make a good job of managing your profile and learning/contributing to something without causing detriment to your other channels or your mental health, brilliant. And who knows, maybe the man most famous for being his own biggest fan is in there right now, ready to snap you up on your latest offer and follow you to make your existence yeezily complete. And maybe Drake himself will ask you to co-host a room with him because he’s absolutely dying to know about your magic formula for getting leads from LinkedIn…

In the meantime, funny as I find it, I have to admit I’m more than a little concerned that the biggest thing that some people are choosing to worry about right now isn’t whether our health, wellbeing, businesses, kids’ educations, families and futures are in massive jeopardy, but rather that they ‘can’t get in’ to a social media platform mere weeks before literally everyone gets in it anyway when it’s come out of private beta testing. I have to quote the favourite word of social media’s latest casualty, the Nectarine Narcissist himself, DJT, when I say… “Sad“.

I know, I know… I should never say never, so maybe if some beta tweaks are made, I could be tempted to sign up or accept an invite… Perhaps, for example, if whoever owns the platform re-brands it as FightClubhouse, where social media influencers have the (bull)sh*t (metaphorically) kicked out of them for our entertainment and are never allowed to talk about the bastard thing ever again, you can invite me the hell in right now!

My only problem now is the fact that, as if existing social media isn’t bad enough, everyone’s now talking about this new platform on all the other platforms, so there is seemingly no escape from the Clubhouse, even if you’re not in it.

Maybe a Mousketool can help us…

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