The new audio-chat app Clubhouse is Korea’s latest social media craze, and numerous idols have already signed up to chat with fans. However, some Korean stars have expressed concern over how the platform is being used.
Clubhouse—which is currently run as invitation-only and exclusive to iOS devices—allows users to create virtual rooms where they can stream live audio talks, either alone, with friends, or with fans. Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon and Yuri, DAY6‘s Jae, Heize, WINNER‘s Mino, and 2NE1‘s Sandara Park are just a few of the K-Pop stars who have already signed up to Clubhouse.
taeyeon: happy new years everyone, you too dahye aka heize
heize: happy new years and be healthy
taeize in clubhouse together🥺
— jenn♥ (@taevenger) February 11, 2021
But while some Korean celebrities seem to be loving the app’s unique features, others have their hesitations. Kim Ji Hoon, a popular actor known for his roles in K-Dramas like Rich Family’s Son and Jang Bo Ri Is Here, recently penned a long post about Clubhouse on Instagram.
In his post, Kim Ji Hoon opined that despite being the “most popular” social media platform right now, Clubhouse shows “the most vulnerable side of modern people’s mentality.” According to the actor, the app is creating two main categories of users: those who feel inferior and those who feel superior.
Kim explained that those who aren’t in on the trend or don’t have access to the “opinion-leading groups” may find themselves feeling “worthless” and “nervous“. On the opposite side, those who use Clubhouse to seek acknowledgment from others “for being special and different” may feel a sense of superiority and begin to boast.
He went on to say that the platform does have its benefits—such as the ability to listen to experts in various fields. However, he asked followers not to send him an invite to the exclusive app as he doesn’t want to use it for social media purposes.
Rapper DinDin, known for his extensive variety show appearances and collaborations with artists like MAMAMOO‘s Wheein, expressed a similar sentiment on a recent episode of his radio show on SBS. According to DinDin, Clubhouse could “boost division in communication” as much as it expands it.
Unlike Kim Ji Hoon, who is steering clear of the app, DinDin explained that he has accepted an invitation to Clubhouse himself and joined some of the rooms. He noted that the global nature of the app allows people from all corners of the world to talk about their current situations. However, he felt like Clubhouse rooms were “a small group of people [who] just talked to each other without giving others any chance to talk.”
On top of that, he also heard that invitations to Clubhouse are being sold online for as much as ₩20,000 KRW (about $18.10 USD). To DinDin, the steep fee is reminiscent of “aristocrats [wanting] to join an upper-class party.” He described the division as “pathetic to witness”, akin to suggesting there are “upper and lower classes in the 21st century.”
DinDin even tried making his own room, but was sadly soon met by advice from an acquaintance to not accept “ordinary people“. “I thought the way of thinking was so authoritarian and irritating,” he explained. Similarly to Kim Ji Hoon, he believes Clubhouse may further “power mechanisms in relationships.”