I feel like a lot of people discount podcasts as a dead medium, and I couldn’t disagree more.
Spending time alone, even for me, can lead to boredom. I love my alone time, and I love doing things by myself, but without the constant feed of information that socializing provides, it can be easy to fall into mind numbing boredom.
Movies, books, and games are all fantastic ways to engage yourself when not around others, but those activities aren’t really conducive to keeping your mind active while doing other things, like cooking, cleaning, running errands, etc. They all require ACTIVE attention.
Podcasts are special, because much like music, they can be enjoyed PASSIVELY. It’s easy to take in an audio-only medium when you’re cooking, or shopping, or going for a walk. However, unlike music, podcasts give you the opportunity to learn and engage in the world around you, without ever actually needing people to engage with.
They are the perfect boredom-killer for spending time and doing things alone, and they allow you to further engage in whatever you are passionate about. Cooking? Fashion? Movies? Business? Cars? Football? Theres a podcast for that, and for virtually anything else you could want to learn more about.
My weekly subscriptions include narrative podcasts like Serial, news/personality shows from Joe Rogan and The New York Times, and then dozens of industry shows about film, TV and games from groups like IGN or Robot Congress.
I use podcasts religiously. They help to grow my interests, and keep my mind active while exploring life by myself. I think that a growing boredom from a lack of social engagement keeps a lot of people from spending more time alone, and that using podcasts could really help those people.
If you do listen to podcasts, please let me know which ones! If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear those as well.