The Best Thing I’ve Done for My Peace of Mind is Limit My Clubhouse Use

Photo by Prithivi Rajan on Unsplash

“You are bringing in so much negative energy into the house!”

My wife started to argue with me about my experiences on the Clubhouse app.

I originally spent my time talking, networking with amazing people, and creating mind-blowing projects when I joined in March.

Now I argue with people who believe that Bill Gates is trying to create a world of walking zombies among the vaccinated. I was bringing the argumentative vibe into the house. My wife wasn’t having it. And rightly so.

Clubhouse is an app where people talk to each other without needing any video. To date, Clubhouse is the most popular app in the field of social audio, despite the competition from Twitter Spaces and Spotify Greenroom.

Social Audio is a term to describe the rise of audio-dominant apps in social media. If you think about it, almost every piece of social media is visually dominant. Every app uses pictures, video, and text. Social audio predominantly uses the voice as its platform of communication. The visual aspects are purely functional.

Even though audio apps existed before COVID, meteoric growth occurred during the lockdown period. People were tired of not being near each other. People wanted to get together without having to look nice. Zoom and FaceTime were annoying to use. However, on Clubhouse you can pitch your business idea to a venture capitalist in your sweatpants.

Their user environment has been copied verbatim by all its competitors. When you download the app, you are led to signing up with your name, user ID, and phone number. You have a choice to create a bio.

After the signup is complete, you enter into the ‘hallway’, where you see all the different titles of the rooms. Once you click on a topic, you enter a digital room. The space below the title of the room is called the audience. You can have as little as no one in the room to thousands. You can tell who is in the room by their icons. You talk by pressing the microphone in the lower right-hand corner.

The rooms have a moderator who directs the flow of the conversation. Each moderator can make other people moderators, mute people, and send people back into the audience. Your icon shows up on a window with other icons. This is how you appear to everyone else. You can then be given a moderator function if the creator of the room wants you to moderate.

A lot of the rooms bring in hundreds of people, so talking times are limited, depending upon the interests of the moderator.

All you have to do is open the app, join a room, get up on the stage, and boom! Instant platform. Getting a chance to say what you believe is intoxicating. Since recordings are not allowed, you can have the safety of saying whatever you want.

The app was launched exclusively among iPhone users in April 2020. Since then, its growth and usage have been staggering. As of this writing, its current valuation is $1Billion. It’s considered the 5th best social media networking app with 10 million users every week.

That’s not to say that Clubhouse hasn’t had any difficulties. There was only a 17 percent increase of new people who jumped on the opportunity to download the app.

When I joined in March of this year, it was an exhilarating experience.

The exclusivity inherently led to its vulnerability. In the beginning, you can find yourself in the room with big stars who were open about their identities. I was lucky enough to find some of my favorite artists. It was a great leveling field because you could have conversations with people that you may never meet in the real world. I worked on a project that grammy award winner Tiffany Haddish was a part of.

Back in March, there was an honesty and vulnerability that people shared. It was a fertile ground for creativity. We started to watch the NFT boom that made artists millionaires there.

The app started to change when the world opened up after lockdown.

Clubhouse’s monthly downloads have plummeted rapidly. As of Feb 2021, it boasted 9.6 million downloads. In April, the amount dropped over 60% to about 2.7 million downloads. In May it dropped down to about 900,000.

At this point, it is a lot rarer to find stars and thought leaders on the app.
It’s not that they don’t show up — the reality is that they change their names and pics so that people won’t recognize them.

One of the downsides to Clubhouse is that it’s a time-sucking vampire. You end up devoting hours of your time just to give your opinion. Some of the clubhouse rooms have been open for upwards of 10 hours straight. I’ve seen some go for over 24 hours.

At this point, Clubhouse is not monetized, so I have no idea how some of the moderators can run rooms daily for hours at a time.

Another downside is the overwhelming number of notifications you receive. All I needed to do was to turn off the notifications on my iPhone. Problem solved.

The types of rooms depend exclusively on the creators. Depending on the room, you will find many of them devoted to spreading lies, misinformation, and disinformation about the vaccine. Each valid aspect of the journey to surviving COVID has been manipulated and turned ass-backward. I have heard everything from the chips in the vaccine, the vaccine makes you magnetic, the vaccine is the Mark of the Beast, to the government holding down people and inoculating them, to the vaccine turning you into a bioweapon. I have heard doctors claim that if you take the vaccine, you will die anywhere between 6 months and 5 years.

I feel sorry for those who are genuinely on the fence about taking the vaccine (or ‘the jab’) if they find themselves in these rooms. There is something very similar to the indoctrination process of cults that takes place in these rooms. Imagine sitting in a room for hours with people spreading all sorts of lies and half-truths. If you happen to have that particular slant, you may find yourself more confused than ever.

Outside of anti-vax rooms, many are devoted to success, developing an entrepreneurial mindset, NFTs, and relationships. My pet peeve is these so-called Clubhouse millionaires. If you were that much of a millionaire, why are you constantly selling?

They claim they are giving you a bargain because of how high they inflate their products. Have you ever noticed that every Real Estate course seems to be upwards of thousands of dollars? I’ve figured out that the way they made their money is by selling these courses.

The reality is that businesses continually sell. Companies like Amazon and Target don’t have non-purchase days.

There are still a significant amount of benefits to having to be a part of Clubhouse. You have an opportunity to build a loyal following. The potential is there for you to direct a 10K deep base of your followers to your other social platforms for goods and services you may have. Clubhouse is also an incredible place to network. As I said earlier, the possibility of you meeting people that you will never meet.

Finally, you still have options. You don’t have to go into any rooms that you don’t want to. Facebook and Twitter are far worse. At least at Clubhouse, you have a choice of what room you choose to. On Facebook and Twitter, you have no idea what will show up on your feed. The reality is that you can’t unread what you have read.

I haven’t removed the app. I did limit the time I spent arguing there. Taking the time to turn off has increased my productivity and peace of mind.

It’s up to you if you choose to use it. However, you also don’t have to go to some of the negative rooms. There are plenty of positive rooms if you choose to find them.

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Anthony Williams

Anthony Williams

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