February 4, 2021 maona@openbubble.net

Oxygen of the mind

“I discovered Clubhouse a few weeks ago and as most I got instantly hooked.

There were very few fellow French people at that time, the rooms I attended and participated in where mostly American rooms, with a strong LA scent.

I love LA, so to me those rooms were like I was confined somewhere there, probably Malibu.

My Clubhouse debuts were interesting most of the time, since it’s so easy to leave boring rooms.

There was casual fun, with the unforgettable impersonation of Chewbacca contest, easily won by a group of three: a beatboxing man with a high-pitched and a low-pitched Chewie.

There were other games, like the one where players had to pick three people from the audience in the room to kill, shag and marry (damn’it, I got picked to marry!).

There was music, never enough of it though. There was this one room with a DJ performing and 147 other people dancing together, each one in their own home.

There was comedy, drama and self-improvement, lots of it.

There was emotional and mental support, much needed, with some speakers who you would picture as very social from the sound of their voice, admitting that they hadn’t crossed a single soul in ten month. Radical honesty for screaming loneliness.

On some occasions it went as far as shyly wild (that is, kinky without ever saying the words to offense no one even when no one is to be offended, which kind of kills the fun) — heck, there was this conversation one day about prostatic massage that was as arousing as a lecture on the dullest topic you can think of, when it could have been so much fun — but it wasn’t… and yet I kept on listening, waiting for the fun to kick in, just like when you meet a new person with which you start to connect, but then it never really takes of.

And that’s perfectly fine, that’s real life, you move on, to some next person you will meet and really connect with for good and have fun and laugh with.

Some weeks later French people started to show up on Clubhouse and my listening habits shifted, as the rooms I was offered by the algorithm evolved.

After the first few days of experimenting and discovering the stage, it started to be much more intellectual, as if it was an exercise, and very professionally bent.

Hey algorithm, how can I tell you I want fun and real human sharing much more than startup talk?

My only attempt so far to shift that was hardly a semi-success.

I offered to the room one of the icebreakers we use on OpenBubble: “Tell the story of a piece of garment or object you’re wearing right now”, but it caught the twelve or so speakers on stage kind of off-guards.

Still, I personally got away with a nice piece from one attendee, and next time we meet that story will probably be the starting point for a discussion. He told us of his then worn t-shirt featuring an NYC subway line, so we’ll talk about NYC, which we apparently both like a lot.

We probably won’t talk t-shirts nor subways, although you never know what’s gonna arise.

That was exactly the goal, to attach stories and emotions to people and create new kinds of bonds while we can’t actually meet for real.

And then it struck me.

What I’ve been experiencing with Clubhouse, just as well as the experience Pedro and myself are offering to people with our OpenBubble is just that: To allow people to have new things to say, new stories to tell, to let them participate in some other people’s lives and to share bits of theirs.

The fascinating period we’re currently experiencing is probably here only to remind us of the importance of other people, and how talking and sharing can bring so much joy, more than almost anything else in the long run.

It is not that we had forgotten how other people, strangers really, are important.

This is not about making new friends, it’s simply about being part of the humanity, talking with new people about small and big things, rubbing e-shoulders, bonding.

But we had taken them for granted, they were always there, sometime annoyingly there, always essentially there.

A wide diversity of people, broader than the tiny group composed of a few close friends, loved ones, roommates and colleagues, is mandatory.

Otherwise we suffocate in our own brain.

We recycle the same thoughts, we drown into them, and we have very little to offer to those who colocate with us.

It kills our most important relationships, in a deadly vicious circle.

Other people, random people, are the oxygen of the mind, just as we are vitamins to their brains.

So go on, talk with other people, one-to-one on OpenBubble or in groups on Clubhouse.

The life we used to enjoy is currently challenged by that 12 µ thing, which is incarcerating us in our own homes.

Don’t let it incarcerate you in your own mind.

With love,”

Georges de La Ville-Baugé via medium | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez | February 14, 2021

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