Clubhouse probably won’t become the next Instagram

We already have Instagram, it can’t be replaced.

It’s more likely that other apps will copy it and it will die out or become less popular, like snapchat.

When it comes to the growth and longevity of Clubhouse, there is a lot to be considered.

Firstly, there is likely to be a period of rapid growth once it becomes available for android. However, when it comes to longevity in the next 3 months, 6 months or even a year I think that things are much less certain.

Once the app becomes more easily available the amount of users will increase for a period of time as people that didn’t previously get access can now join and see what the hype was about. There is likely to then be a decline in users as some will lose interest in the app after a few weeks.

In terms of how long the app will last, unless we all become addicted like how we are with Instagram I think it will be a question of ‘Is what I gain from this going to be worth more than the time that ends up being wasted?’ or ‘Is what I can gain from this different from what I already have access to through youtube, podcasts, IGTV, books, articles etc? and lastly ‘Is what I can gain for this better than the alternatives on apps I’m already familiar with?’

I think there is something to be said about being on the cusp, on showing up in the early stages because you’re interested, not just because something is trendy or popular.

The reason why I think clubhouse is such a big deal is because it’s very rare for a new social media app to show up and gain such traction in such a short space of time, especially because it has resulted in 2 of the biggest social media apps to add a similar features so that they can compete.

I also think it’s great that there are so much options for what you could do with the app: read a play, discuss pop culture, live podcast, talk show, etc that it can appeal to a range of age groups.

I’m looking forward to see how the app grows and develops in the future. Will it last, will Twitter/Instagram/Discord alternatives force it to die out as people already have followings on those platforms? But also what new features will it have and once things go back to ‘normal’ will we still be interested?

The old normal

Lockdown allowed us to fantasise about the possibilities of life.

The way that things were was no longer seen as the way that things had to be.

The longer we were inside the more we began to speak of the new normal. We were able to imagine changes on scales small and large. I think this gave a lot of people hope, that this pandemic would not be for nothing if once it was over there would be change for the better.

But, somewhere along the way, there was a shift. Instead of speaking of the new way of life we had once hoped for, we began to long over the old ways.

Suddenly, it was the old normal that we were dreaming of, not something new.

Back to normal

I think the idea of going back to normal will cause a divide.

On one hand you have the ones that are craving the way things were. They spend their days longing for what used to be.

On the other hand you have the ones that have adjusted and adapted to this new way of life. Perhaps they found it challenging in the beginning but overtime they’ve found a way to make things work for them.

Then lastly, there are those that lie somewhere in between. Those that are able to see the pros and cons of both sides. Those that are interested in flexibility because they now that it’s not a case of things going back to normal but instead carving out a new world based on all that the past year has taught us.

Pastry and persistence

So, today I tried something new in the kitchen that involved shortcrust pastry.

My hopes were high but unfortunately the end result was pretty terrible.

I tried to rectify it but to no avail.

I found myself feeling a little frustrated because it wasn’t a complicated dish and I thought it was going well, until it wasn’t.

But once I got thinking I realised that it wasn’t so bad. I was lucky enough that there was plenty of other food in my house so I didn’t have to go hungry.

And then I moved on to thinking about what went wrong and what I could do differently next time in order to improve the outcome. I could roll the pastry thinner, I could cook the pastry for longer, I could use less egg for the filling or I could follow a recipe properly rather than just for the amount of butter and flour for the pastry.

The bottom line is that I tried something new and it didn’t work out how I had hoped. That’s something that happens a lot in life and I think the issue is that we consider it to be a bad thing when in fact it’s a normal thing.

It’s normal for things to not work out sometimes especially when it’s something you’re doing for the first time. It’s all just part of the learning process. And if you’re willing to try again, then there’s a possibility that things can get better.

Welcoming normal

I think what many are craving is a sense of ‘normal’, the way things once were.

If you’re lucky, normal might have been just fine but it’s worth acknowledging that that’s not the case for everyone.

Of course the easy thing to do would be nothing and just let things go back to what they were, after all you don’t have any issues.

I think that’s the mindset that limits us and stops progress.

We’re so afraid that better for them means worse for us that we’re willing to let them suffer.

It might not be so explicit in your mind but if you take some time you might realise that’s the reason behind your mindset.

Post-lockdown in the office

I’ve recently had a few conversations about going back to work and what that will look like.

For some that worked in offices they were able to continue at home whilst for others things grounded to a halt and have remained so for the past couple of months.

From the way things look, it appears that even though things are starting to open up again, we will not be going to back to the normal that we once knew.

With social distancing set to become our new way of living, the office environment can no longer remain the same.

Lunch – The eating space can no longer be a social space used to catch up and get away from your desk. Tables and chairs would need to be re-organised to ensure social distancing remains. It’ll probably be more convenient to just eat at your desk.

Meetings – In the past few months all meetings have been held over video or changed to a phone call, I think this will remain. Travelling for client meetings will no longer be a priority, unless perhaps done so by car. Team meetings work well whilst we’re all at home but this will not translate well into a socially distanced office. We’ll need to think about how we can have group discussions in a private place whilst still maintaining distance.

Hot-desking – Something that was implemented as the new way of working and that marked a rise in the flexibility of the 9-5 is now at risk of being eradicated. We’ll still have the flexibility in work hours but the space we work in will stay the same, the less stuff shared the better.

As you can see, it’ll be a challenge to maintain any sort of normal office environment with social-distancing. An office, like many other work spaces is built on people coming together.

What does this change mean for the future of working and how can we adapt to ensure we’re working in spaces that meet our needs both individually and collectively?

A taste of normality

Right now a lot of people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the slow return to normalcy. Granted it’ll be a long time until things are back to how they were but as they say ‘slow progress is better than no progress’.

This normality will be positive for some and for others, something they are dreading.

There are people that have been furloughed from jobs they don’t want to back to.

There are people who have finally been able to live without feeling obligated to be social.

There are people who miss being in the presence of friends, family and lovers.

There are people who miss going to work.

But I think that what many are forgetting is that even when things go back to the normal, it won’t be same, too much has happened.

A pandemic is a pretty big deal.

It’s changed us.

Missing normal

Suddenly the everyday mundane tings that often got overlooked are the very things that you long for.

The walk to the train station, getting a vanilla latte at your favourite cafe and walks through the city centre on a Saturday afternoon.

Those simple things were part of what was once normal life and although they meant very little at the time, they now represent freedom.

If 6 months ago someone told you that you wouldn’t be allowed to do those everyday things maybe you’d have been glad. The irony is that so often we try to get away from normality but right now you can probably think of nothing you want more.

 

The new normal

Right now things might feel strange, they certainly don’t feel normal.

When we experience difficult or challenging situations so often we end up craving the way things were.

You might find yourself longing for the simple everyday things you used to do like working in an office building, travelling by train and seeing full shelves in the supermarket.

Once the situation passes you have to establish a new normal because challenges change you. It will be almost impossible to go back to the way things were because what you’re experiencing right now is significant.

We all have the opportunity to let this situation change us for the better. To become more resilient, self-aware and perhaps a little kinder or more thoughtful.

Checking in with your 2020 new years resolutions

We are currently in the period where your new years resolutions may have fallen away and you’re now back to your normal (pre new years resolution) self.

It’s a common thing, it happens to everyone at some point, I’m certain.

It can get frustrating to feel like the person you thought you’d become this year might not be as feasible as you thought.

But a helpful thing to do is remind yourself that although it’s feasible it will never be as easy as simply wanting it.

So often we commit to the end goal but not what it takes to get there.

Go through your 2020 goals or resolutions and ask yourself what have I done to make this happen?

If you haven’t made much progress, chances are the answer will be nothing.

It could be helpful to reassess your goals and think not only about what you want but what you’re willing to work for.