Thousands are flocking to the new audio-based social platform.

A collage of an image of a cellphone and the logo of ClubhouseImage for representation
news Social media Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 15:58

Like the other social media platforms, Clubhouse has paved its way into Telugu virtual spaces. The new audio-based social media platform is attracting Telugu millennials and gen-x-ers rapidly. Taking a cue from their friends, thousands are joining the app and engaging in a variety of discussions ranging from education, technology, social and political issues, besides music, cinema, fitness and finance.

Srikumar N, a recent graduate who joined Clubhouse and engages in multiple discussions, says the platform is inclusive as any member can air their opinion. Speaking to TNM, he says, "All kinds of people can open up, the real-time voice experience makes the participant feel that his opinion is being considered."

Mercy Margaret, an academic and Kendriya Sahithya Akademi awardee who holds several discussions on literature, education and gender besides politics as a moderator, says, "No news channel dedicates one full hour to women’s issues. Clubhouse is filling that void. People are opening up. This app is also addressing the loneliness and uneasiness caused by COVID-19, many are talking and that is a good thing."

Mercy adds, "Yes, there are less women members but the good thing is they are speaking up. If they are not given space, they can start their own room for discussion. The sanity of the discussion depends on the sensibility of the moderators."

However, there are some who feel that despite the meaningful conversations, there are certain spaces where any attempt towards critical discussion is not allowed. Ashok D, a 24-year-old post-graduate, says, "Like other social media platforms, this is already occupied by the elites for whom only “cool things” matter. I see very little critical engagement on caste discrimination, gender issues and the like." Ashok, however, says he’s happy that people can create their own rooms with likeminded people to pursue topics of their interest.

Another active Clubhouse member, Kadali Sathyanarayana, who is a lyricist and writer, feels that Clubhouse is everybody's unlike other social media platforms. She says, "It is good when there is something important to discuss with people instead of random conference calls. Lots of interesting and useful stuff is going on."

Kadali further says that there is some amount of "tone policing” sometimes — especially when men moderate or dominate the discussion.

Vashishta Bhargav, an English language trainer and YouTuber, says that Clubhouse for him is both learning and expansion of his reach. Sudheer Kumar Thandra, a businessman from Jagtial, a small town, feels a description/conversion of the speeches into text will make it more comfortable for everyone to understand.

Jagannadh, also known as JagZ, is one of the founders of Telugu Tribe, a room that is now hosting over 18k people in the span of less than 45 days. He says that real-time conversations are attracting people to the platform as the emotions are easily relatable. JagZ, who is a policy consultant by profession, says, "Many people find comfort in sharing things with strangers whom they don't meet in real life."

He believes Clubhouse can be a better place if people are ready to listen to different opinions and people while maintaining etiquette. "People can't get away with saying whatever they want or abusing others as they can be reported and pulled out immediately."

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