For parents, the emergence of new social media apps can be a little scary. And parents might find themselves asking their children questions such as:
“Wait, what is this new app thing that you’re spending so much time on?
”Is this new app thing safe for you to use?”
“Should I even be letting you use this new app thing?”
Take this new audio app, Clubhouse, for example. It’s currently only in the testing stages and operating on an invite-only basis, but it’s tipped to be the next big thing. Which means there’s a good chance it’ll come up in conversation around the dinner table at one point or another.
Before that happens, here’s a quick parent-friendly primer. You’re welcome.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is a ‘drop-in audio’ app that allows users to join themed digital ‘rooms’ and listen to or participate in conversations with people from all over the world. Launched in April 2020, it’s kind of like being part of a live podcast, with rooms ranging in size from a handful of people to hundreds.
What kind of things do people talk about?
All sorts. There are rooms focusing on music, sports, entrepreneurship, food, video games and basically anything and everything else you can think of. When you set up your profile, you can pick your interests and follow people you’re interested in, and be presented with rooms that align with those interests.
How is it moderated?
Each room has a moderator, who is able to accept or reject, mute or remove speakers, unfollow or block people. So if they allow someone to participate in a conversation who winds us saying something inappropriate, or that they dislike, they can remove that individual from a conversation.
Why would my kids be interested in Clubhouse?
Aside from it being the ‘new thing’, which is never not interesting to kids, the content can be pretty cool. Of course, like any social media platform, there’s arguably a lot of not-so-great content on Clubhouse. It does allow you to access interesting conversations between interesting people. It also gives you the opportunity to have conversations with people who you not otherwise be able to – top chefs, actors, musicians, authors and other such celebs and experts.
Is Clubhouse safe for kids?
Officially, Clubhouse is only for people aged 18+. But, the app also does little to enforce this rule. There are plenty of good reasons to not let your kids use the app. The fact that you have no idea what kind of content they’re consuming being the primary one. A potential problem with hate speech a secondary one – but there’s also not a whole lot stopping them. So if you notice your kids using or talking about Clubhouse, engage in the conversation and see how they’re using the app. At its core, it’s an app based on having conversations with strangers, so anyone using it should be old enough and mature enough to navigate those situations. And as far as the app itself is concerned, that means they should be 18+.