What Is the Clubhouse App and Is It Safe for My Child?
What is Clubhouse? And is it safe? These are questions parents across the country are asking now that this audio-based social media network is becoming more well known. If you’re concerned that your child may check out the Clubhouse app and want to know about its dangers, you’ve come to the right place!
What is the Clubhouse App?
The Clubhouse app is a social media network that consists entirely of audio conversations. Think of it kind of like a live, interactive podcast. The idea came about during the pandemic as a way of managing the social disconnect that many people were experiencing around the world.
Users have the option of either starting their own room to hold an audio discussion or dropping into a room started by another user. Conversations are identified by topics, so users can pick which talks they want to join. Room hosts have the option of dominating the talk or unmuting participants to give them a chance to voice their opinions. The platform recently added a chat feature for the mic-shy, so there's also a text aspect.
Is Clubhouse Safe? What Parents Need to Know
Is Clubhouse safe for your teenager? What about your tween or a younger child? There are a lot of celebrities that hold talks on the app and this may grab the attention of kids. You may think that it’s harmless because it’s audio only, but there are some serious safety concerns to consider.
The Clubhouse app doesn’t verify age
While Clubhouse is technically for users 18 and up, it’s not difficult for younger kids to gain access. There is no age verification process in place, and there are no filters or parental controls once inside the app. This means kids can create an account and start listening to any of the audio conversations without restriction. They just need someone to send them an invitation to get started.
Conversations in Clubhouse range from tame to insane
While there are some kid-friendly conversations happening inside the Clubhouse app, there are also some topics that aren’t suitable for tweens, teens, or younger kids. Since the app is ostensibly for adults only, talks with more mature content are permitted. Hosts may assume that they’re speaking to adults only, but that isn’t always the case. If your child gains access to Clubhouse, they’re likely to encounter content that you would consider inappropriate for their age.
Lack of censorship can lead to disagreements and bullying
Kids aren’t the only ones who experience bullying. Many adults still fall back on bullying behavior when in a heated dispute. If you can imagine putting hundreds or even thousands of adults in one room and allowing them to have conversations about sensitive topics, you can imagine the level of name-calling, finger-pointing, and verbal assault that could easily occur. That’s exactly what happens in some heated Clubhouse discussions.
Not only may your children hear these sorts of things if they’re on the Clubhouse app, but they could potentially join in, too. And since there’s no monitoring or censorship, kids can start their own rooms and hold conversations on topics that interest them. Plus, unmuting people who enter the room to give them a chance to speak could lead to foul language and bullying.
Clubhouse voices more opinions than facts
The Clubhouse app gives everyone a forum to speak their mind and share their opinions about a wide variety of topics. That’s a great thing for adults, but it can easily become confusing and misleading for kids.
Most adults can listen to all sides of an issue and determine for themselves what they think and believe. Kids are often still developing their reasoning skills and aren’t yet sure what they believe on hot topics. They may not even have heard about some of the topics presented on Clubhouse until they come across a conversation on the app.
At the end of the day, you just don’t know what kind of content your child may encounter on Clubhouse. This alone is a good reason to make sure they aren’t using the app before they reach adulthood.
From the Clubhouse App to Real Life
So, is Clubhouse safe for kids? Nope. The biggest danger the Clubhouse app presents is the exposure to strangers, as this could lead to children being manipulated and groomed by predators. The best way to protect your children from apps like Clubhouse is to monitor activity on their phones around the clock. The best way to do that is to join Bark. You’ll get alerts for dangers like online predators, sexual content, cyberbullying, depression, and more.
Bark is a comprehensive online safety solution that empowers families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their kids online. Our mission is to give parents and guardians the tools they need to raise kids in the digital age.