Why Listen to Podcasts
We have this dirty word in our colloquial language these days. You know the one; it’s the immediate response to the inquiry of how are you, it’s the first word out of your mouth when a new conversation begins. I have made a concerted effort to not use the word, to dig deeper, to actually think of the answer to a friend’s question, to give a reply more unique and detailed than…”busy”.
Podcasts help to stop the busy. They break up the monotony of day-to-day life. They are a listen into what is going on in the world, topics of interest to your individual bubble, and if you are willing, a window into the greater environment of our planet.
We are busy. We place value on being busy and the busier we are the more revered we are. This must stop. Our schedules are full without any wiggle room or time built-in to breath and simply be. Listening to an episode of a favorite podcast can transport you away from your to-do list and into the broader mindset of the world at large.
Why I listen to podcasts
I listen to podcasts because I can do so in the car commuting between here and there or outside while I’m on a run in the beautiful Bosque. I don’t have to be in front of a computer screen, or sitting down with a book in hand (which I also love to do, but my attention span is woefully short these days).
I listen to podcasts because they are not news dictated by dollars.
I listen to podcasts because they are not news dictated by dollars. Rather, they are well-researched, fact-checked fascinating tidbits about the parts of the world that interest me. They are people’s own stories, told by the human who lived the experience like those presented on The Moth. They are two mom’s having a conversation about the challenges they are presently faced with while raising their children as heard on One Bad Mother.
Podcasts can be a lens with which to understand the digital world we find ourselves navigating. For help and advice in this regard, I turn every week to Note to Self, Reply All and IRL.
As an entrepreneur and a Mom, I am constantly consuming stories, tips, hacks, and the latest research in order to perform these roles to the fullest of my abilities. Thank heavens for podcasts like The Longest Shortest Time, Planet Money, The Venture, and Don’t Keep Your Day Job .
99% Invisible is everything design and answers questions I thought I was the only one posing. Are the animal sounds in documentaries actually captured in real time? How are computer algorithms designed? What is the argument for allowing for plenty of negative space in visual design? As a trained graphic designer, all things design interest me but especially the thought process behind how things are created and why.
Both comfortable and unnerving
Podcasts are simultaneously a guilty pleasure for me as well as a source of information. They validate the challenging space of life I find myself in at this moment attempting to navigate my new role as a mother, established roles as a wife and a soldier, ever-growing role of an entrepreneur, all while figuring out who the heck I even am!
They help explain the psychology behind the frightening negativity of the present tribe mentality of our society as well as the positive effects of misbehaving and pushing against preconceived expectations. These and other social science quandaries are examined episode after episode on Hidden Brain.
Podcasts are a half-hour to hour of storytelling giving me the permission to listen to other’s lives and struggles and successes. I commiserate with the mom who calls in to rant about the fact her baby hasn’t slept well for two weeks and she’s fed up with being awake all day every day while still expected to function and even be polite and pleasant as heard on One Bad Mother’s weekly segment on the topic.
I salivate when listening to a Gastropod episode on cheeses, especially since I couldn’t eat any dairy all year and crave it like mad! I find myself laughing aloud with Dan Pashman’s unwavering stance on what actually qualifies as a sandwich. I scrambled to look up gastrophysics when Pashman shared this emerging field on an episode of The Sporkful and immediately began dreaming of how I could study this specialty.
These are but a sampling of the podcasts on my subscribed list. Each fills my ears and captures my attention allowing me to stop thinking of my own immediate struggles for a time. They also serve as a planning tool for my business as I attempt to implement ideas I hear that may work for me. Because I listen to podcasts, I tend to begin conversations with juicy tidbits heard on an episode, and am able to add a layer to conversations that I would not otherwise have without the rich tapestry of podcasts.
Podcasts have led me on a journey to become more Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self with Manoush Zomorodi of Note to Self. It was a week long series of guided exercises with the goal of creating the space to become bored, and thus more creative. Check out the book in the link above, or listen to the series of episodes here.
Listening to podcasts is an opportunity for information-gathering, expanding my horizons and pushing the boundaries of my personal bubble while also solidifying my previous stances on topics with like-minded hosts. I force myself to listen to the stories on This American Life that may not align completely with my own views, same to be said for The Moth. But these are real people, living their lives just as I am my own and they deserve to be heard.
Every story deserves to be heard.
As I build a library of podcast episodes to be launched in February, I am seeking out women’s stories of their careers. If you are interested in being a guest on my podcast, send me an email at email@example.com.
What podcasts do you listen to? Leave your recommendations below.