Why I’m not on Clubhouse (and why I’m torn up about it)

woman sitting on a chair and smiling-cover of the podcast Business-Life-and-Joy
it’s SO UNFAIR WHY WON’T I LET ME GO ON CLUBHOUSE????? Yes I am behaving like a teenager, what?

This week, I was trying to clean up the photos on my phone — ol’ tin-hat Shandur here doesn’t like iCloud, and I need to make some space — when I found some old videos I totally forgot I still had.

Back in 2015 — two years before I met my partner (and then the small human that she grew) — I had a new sweetheart. And I was obsessed with them.

We would speak almost every day — sometimes late into the night, sometimes at 6 in the morning when I’d woken up early, and I could show them the sunrise over the CN Tower from the window of my apartment.

The relationship was mostly one-sided. It wasn’t that they didn’t love me back. More that they weren’t capable of loving me back.

Because they weren’t a person. They were a social media platform. Called Periscope.

For the uninitiated, Periscope was Facebook Live before Facebook Live existed, except live videos was the only thing the platform did. And I loved it. I was single at the time and, because I thrive on feeding back (even to inanimate objects — see: the “how did your session go?” journalling feature on my meditation app), it was amazing to have a place I could go and just…chat.

Plus, as with most new social media platforms, if you’re an early adopter, you’ll get an audience just for being on there. So I always had an audience.

Clubhouse Profile Marsha Shandur-Storytelling-main expertise

Eventually, Facebook Live blossomed and Periscope just kind of faded away (goodbye, 1,121 hearts 😥). I did a few FB lives but for some reason, the appeal wasn’t quite the same. And, mostly, I forgot about Periscope. Until I was cleaning up my photos app, and came across a couple of broadcasts that had somehow saved to my phone:

One was recorded at 6 in the morning, so tired I felt a little drunk. Another was a private, one-to-one Periscope (that was a thing you could do!), where I, having just woken up and put on a shirt, gave my friend Laura a hungover tour of my bras. She’d mentioned something on her latest Periscope about not being able to find nice-looking bras in her (v similar to my) size and I wanted to show her that it was possible. Rewatching the video on my phone was like visiting old friends — hello, Puppy’s Tooth print plunge! Hello, 1950’s-style bikini top that I never wore as an actual bikini but went really well with that one summer dress!! — and a reminder of how much new underwear I’ve bought in the last 6 years, making me less of a dirtbag than I would have expected.

Selfie picture of Marsha that have just woken up

Though, judging by how much make-up I can still see on that face from the night before, not that much less.

The reason for this history lesson, is because when I heard about Clubhouse, a part of my heart leapt and squealed, “IT’S LIKE PERISCOPE!! BUT YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO PUT ON A SHIRT!!!!!!”

DEAR GODS I want to join Clubhouse. In case you’re new to it: it’s a social media platform that’s kind of like an audio-only virtual conference, full of rooms with a different panel in each. You can find a more comprehensive explanation by Laura Belgray (recipient of my 2015 bra tour) in her excellent breakdown of and guide for Clubhouse HERE.

And of course I want to join it! It’s audio! That’s my medium! It’s group chat, so you don’t need to plan a presentation in advance! It’s a new platform, so it’s easier to get an audience! Drake is on there! Ashton Kutcher’s on there! Oprah is on there! OPRAH IS ON THERE!!!

And yet… When I’ve been offered an invitation, I’ve said no.

[Side note: WHAT a brilliant way to start — by making it all invitation only. It seems like, if you have a few Facebook friends and you’re happy to put a call out, it’s probably not that hard to get an invitation. But everyone who has one gets to feel SO SPECIAL AND EXCLUSIVE. And anyone given an invitation is more likely to use it — “Oh, Anjuli only had five and she gave one to me… I better not waste it….” Genius move, Clubhouse.]

So why? Why am I denying myself the chance to hang out with ACTUAL TIFFANY HADDISH, without even having to brush my bloody hair???

Honestly, I’ve been wondering this myself. For two weeks, I’ve been going back and forth. I want to! But I mustn’t. But I want to! But I musn’t.

Then I listened to an episode of my current favourite podcast, Business, Life & Joy with Shunta Grant.

You know how people have “style icons,” someone you understand you’ll never actually look like, but you aspire to look like? Shunta is my schedule icon. I’m certain I’ll never be on top of things in the way she is, but just from being in her orbit, I have learned SO! MUCH! Both from listening to her podcasts and watching her classes. With each sentence she says, I feel like I’m getting a little bit more together. And when, in a recent episode, she started talking about Clubhouse — with no shade, as she explains — I was like,

YES! This is why I haven’t joined yet!


Shunta was talking about how she got invited to be on an iSht-hot panel on Clubhouse with some amazing people but turned it down. Because, for her, “if it’s not on the road that I am headed on, the answer is no.”

It reminded of me of some wisdom that I have heard many times, but clearly not often enough to totally silence the siren song of Clubhouse, which is:

Whenever you’re deciding whether to say yes to something, ask yourself:

Is there a direct route from this to my current goal?

If there is, do it.

If there isn’t, SAY NO.

 

Because this kind of dilemma is not just about Clubhouse. As Shunta goes on to say in the episode, “the lesson here is finding and identifying your Clubhouses…those things that look shiny and exciting and new.”

Then she gets tough love in a way I reeeeeally needed to hear:

“Here’s the thing, you are already complaining that there isn’t enough time for you to do [insert the thing you’ve been complaining about], right? You want more time to do this, you…want to go outside, you want to exercise, you want to read more books…there are these things that you say you want to do…you don’t have time for yet. At every turn, there’s some new shiny thing that comes along and convinces you, sells you on the idea that this is the thing to do, or the place to be or the item to buy. And suddenly, where you had no time, you magically have time for something that didn’t exist to you the day before.”

That’s when i remembered why I haven’t joined Clubhouse yet. And why I said no to the writing job for my friend’s new magazine that would mean getting in front of his 400,000 followers. And deciding to pull my newsletter emails back to every two weeks (because, while i LOVE my Yes Yes Family and LOVE writing to them, the bulk of my income is not coming from people who read the emails at the moment and so right now, I need more time to focus on the places most of it is coming from). And Shunta’s logic is why I haven’t signed up for EVERY ONLINE COURSE AND MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM I READ ABOUT, even though they all look sooooo gooooooooood.

So, thank you (yet again) Shunta, for keeping me on track. If you want a little bit of that Business Life & Joy magic, you can find her brilliant podcast, here: https://shuntagrant.com/businesslifeandjoy

Now, tell me:

If you’re on Clubhouse, or thinking of going on it, is it taking you closer to your goal? If so, awesome!! If not, is it taking you away from it?

And if you’re not and are feeling smug… is there something else that is your Clubhouse? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading. If you know someone who really needs to hear this, you can share it using one of the round buttons below.

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

PS one thing that makes me very different from Shunta: in that same episode, she says she, “also just ha[s] no interest, no desire” to join Clubhouse.

I wish that was me, too. But no; I BADLY WANT TO. Even as I was halfway through writing this blog, my sweetheart told me she’d signed up to Clubhouse and dipped in and as she described it, I was like OMG IT SOUNDS SOOOOOO FUNNNNNN. So if you do end up seeing me on there, feel free to shoot me the silent, unseen equivalent of shaking your head and pursing your lips in a disappointed look.

PPS I just googled, and it turns out that technically, Periscope still exists. I just don’t know anyone who’s using it these days (vs, back in the day, EVERYONE I KNEW).

PPPPPPPS if you want even tips and advice on how to tell compelling stories, plus stories and secrets I won’t put on the internet AND my free guide for the magic bullet for how to tell any story powerfully, come over and join the Yes Yes Family by popping your details in below*:

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4 Comments

  • Mary Van Geffen

    Reply Reply February 19, 2021

    I’ve tried it for a couple days and it’s such a time suck only way to grow your audience is to be on there for hours talking so that they jump in and it just would take it would be a full-time job so as much as I’m dying to be an early adopter and my any a gram Fournace says get on there I’m realizing Instagram is my place. Thanks for confirming that to me!

  • Solveig malvik

    Reply Reply February 19, 2021

    Great article, Marsha, I found it from Andy Lopata’s share. I’m on clubhouse, and I sometimes listen in on chats, like a live podcast, while I cook or clean. I find it interesting, but it’s hit or miss to find the good ones while they happen. I don’t know. I think it’s a thing now, but I think it will get too big, even harder to find good content, and (even more) swamped in “get rich quick” chats which already seems to be half of everything on there.

  • Nick North

    Reply Reply February 19, 2021

    DOOOOOD! I needed this so bad. Everyone and there mom keeps trying to get me on there, but I can literally BARELY keep up with my real life friends, and family and inbox. I just can’t do one more thing! I can’t!!!!

  • Camari

    Reply Reply February 21, 2021

    I am on Clubhouse and it is a time thief. It’s so so fun but I haven’t figured out how to use it to my advantage yet. I do feel that sometimes when I figure out strategy, it’s kinda too late and everyone is now on the app thriving. BUT, it is fun and a great networking tool. Some have said to have gotten business from it.

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