Clubhouse Sucks
30 May 2021

If you don’t know what clubouse is, check out:

Inherent Problems

When I look back at social media platforms I been a part of, it makes me think if clubhouse will ever be able to solve it’s inherent problems of being an online platform. Provided, clubhouse is still in beta and registration is solely based on invitation from existing users. Even then I saw an unignorable number of faceless folk here and there. Don’t get me wrong, I very much promote anonymity in public places, especially when it comes to online communities. But a platform which very much boast it’s real identity policy, it seemed like the very opposite of what the platform stands for. A few of them were even moderators of some really big chat rooms where a lot of real people did not have the chance to speak.

To quote Martin Garrix,

Using social media to hurt and destroy is callous, acted out by cowards hiding behind computers. My advice is to ignore negativity. Focus on the love around.

clubhouse managed to fix this to a point, but not in a perfect way. Something like strict verification using volunteers/staff would have been a lot better.

Freshness

A lot of people I know praise clubhouse for it’s freshness. I don’t get it. As far as I understand, clubhouse is a modern-podcast platform aka the voice chat. The idea of podcasts are very well known and there are multiple instant messengers with voice chat, like WhatsApp and Telegram. And there is numerous video-communication services which is nowadays used by people all around the world to conduct meetings and stuff. Heck, there is discord which is literally clubhouse + numerous other features like text channels, roles and much more good moderation. You should give it a try if you didn’t already. That being said, clubhouse is old wine in new bottle. There is nothing new as advertised.

Privacy (or Anonymity)

It should be an important aspect of every communication medium in today’s world, or so I believe. No one would know what happens in China if anonymity was not important. Arab Spring wouldn’t have happened. No news of anything that ever happens in any authoritarian country will reach us. Anonimty is really a boon when it comes to real life. I understand that it is sometimes a pain in the ass to control these trolls and whatnot, but it is a price we pay for having platform where we can safely and courageously broadcast or ideas. Without anonymity, I would have be jailed/dead already, much like a majority of people I interact with. In a modern world where criticism against governing bodies are being suppressed with great strength, it is important to have such anonymous friends to speak up certain things.

When it comes to privacy, I’d like if clubhouse does not tell my followers what I am listening to, or speaking to, in their front page. I very much hate that. If I participate in a discussion, it means I’m interested in it and does not mean I want all my friends to let know I’m in such a discussion. It is even worse when anyone could follow me and spy me like ever before.

Thus, I suspect if clubhouse have any preference for privacy or anonymity and I very much hate that.

Synchronicity

From Wikipedia:

synchronous: At the same time, at the same frequency

Almost every online communication tool is asynchronous, and there is a reason for it. Our real life is very much different from our online life, even if seems to be the one and same. Let’s assume they are two threads in our program. online life is fast and you may loose many updates if you try to block it for even a little interval. real life on the other hand is slow and you’re committed to it 100%.

From Inception:

Cobb: Well, dreams, they feel real while we’re in them right? Its only when we wake up then we realize that something was actually strange.

Like dreams, you engage too much in social media, you lose track of real life and start to live in a very artificial -handpicked for you- mental state. This is why a lot of social media platforms start as asynchronous and starts to sync you in with constant notifications. An asynchronous platform is where you start something, do something else, come back and finish what you previously started. This enables you to engage in both worlds while being a slave to neither.

as an exact opposite to this, clubhouse starts synchronous and stay synchronous. You are expected to stay 100% committed to any event unlike asynchronous platforms where you could take occasional breaks.

I’d also say, clubhouse success is a side effect of recent situations where a lot of us are unable interact with the society around us, which leaves a big gaps in our daily schedule and let us commit to things we disagreed to before.

Sound as a medium

I very much like to listen to things, but I like to read more. So my views are biased and may make no sense to you, beware. We all value our time. Me too. I’d love it when people actually prepare beforehand and talk about about things clear and fair. Unfortunately that’s not what I experienced from clubhouse. After all, we are all common people and have our own weaknesses, but I’d rather listen to TED talk rather than a clubhouse discussion.

That being said, it is impossible to re-read (or re-analyze/re-listen) conversations, unless you manage to record them, which I consider to be very unethical if you don’t have permission from every speaker participating. Even if a re-reading/re-listening is possible, it will be very harder to cross reference than in case of text.

Also, me being an introvert, would like to participate in a way other than speaking, and an absence of such feature makes me think if clubhouse is not for my kind.

Does it really suck?

I think so. But in the end, it is just my opinion. Yours may differ and I’m perfectly okay with that. I’ll encourage you to contribute more and more the society we live in. It just feels that it is not for me.

Regards.