Why are we so desirous of communication with other human beings?
Are we lonely? Or do we crave connection that much – what does that say about our real life then?
Being a luddite, I have little experience with different social media platforms, but in my limited experience, I’ve never seen any other social media where you get such a palpable sense of being in the presence and immediacy of tens of thousands of people.
It literally is like walking into a market square, of hobnobbing and rubbing shoulders with others.
The energy emitted from the collective mass is both thrilling & exhilarating; all-consuming & enervating.
Things move at lightening’s speed on Clubhouse: already I cannot recall what happened 12 hours ago.
So much so that coming off Clubhouse, the rest of the world seems to be crawling at the speed of a snail.
No wonder so many of us are addicted, many have spent every waking minute on Clubhouse, and now we slept on it too – as evinced by the proliferation of "silent resting rooms."
Hyperreality – the immediacy of communicating with so many human beings is so hyperreal that it becomes unreal.
In reality – saved for those who work in retail, hospitality & call-centre - we may speak to 10, 20 or 50 people at most in a 12-hour period.
Our forebears – from hunter-gatherers to village farmers – would have had a similar exposure.
Yet on Clubhouse, you can hear from no less than several hundreds distinct human voices within the same period.
A similar analogy may be that of 4K TV/film, the image is sharper than what the human eyes can see, and the effect is a hyperreality that becomes unreal and unnatural.
I have difficulty going back to work today, it seems like my reality has been distorted by the hyperconnected world of Clubhouse
In the first event I hosted on Clubhouse yesterday, I had wanted to talk about friends vs. fans, influence vs. connection, broadcasting vs. conversation, finite vs. infinite…
Being human, incarnated in our flesh and bounded in time & space, we are constrained in the number of people we can have actual conversations with. How many can count real friends in dozens, let alone triple digits?
Yet our mind can dream of infinity; our spirit yearns for the transcendental.
As we scroll from room to room, hearing the hubbubs of thousands, what is that evocative of?
Perhaps it is like the Wim Wenders film, Wings of Desire, we had momentarily become the hovering spirits in the film who can hear the unspoken desire, hope, fear & sorrow of the many faces we beheld.
And we are seized by a sudden impulse to reach out and touch every single one of those voices.
(Unless you happened to walk into a room loaded with political landmine. Then it is not inconceivable that you were filled with impatience and frustration, desperately wanting to beat some senses into those ignorant blabbering voices - this holds true however your political persuasion fell)
Why, I had wanted to become part of that general pool of humanity.
Or have I been spent by all that incessant speechifying, be it eloquent or jagged, voluble or wavering?
Are we in the same room? Are you listening to me?
I imagine you to be among the dozens of unfamiliar of profile pics.
Or perhaps I haven't met you yet
Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Yesterday I fell asleep in one of the rooms, and everyone in the room dreamed the same dream.
When I woke up, I had difficulty putting my clothes on.
And I could not tell whether I had been awake or dreaming these last three days...