I’m a huge fan of podcasts. I spend a lot of time listening to them. At the moment, I’m subscribed to 52 podcasts (the number keeps changing). A few people have asked me recently why I’m so into podcasts, so I figured I’d jot down my reasons.
Podcasts are awesome in that you can do just about anything while you listen to a podcast. This isn’t really the case with most other mediums. For instance, if I’m reading a book, I’m not doing anything else while I’m reading a book. If I’m watching a good TV show or a movie, I’m not doing something else at the same time.
Just about the only thing I can’t do while listening to a podcast is actual work. Most other things I do,, I can do with a podcast on. For instance, one of the ways in which unwind from my work day is to lie in bed, and play FIFA in career mode. While I do this, I have a podcast on. After you’ve played 2 games of FIFA the in-game commentary gets super boring, and is really not relevant to the game play. The game play is also not mentally taxing. So as I play, I listen to a podcast, usually something educational. Which leads me to…
Podcasts are a great way to learn. There are loads of podcasts that put out tons of information that’s highly useful to learn. There are obviously limits to the kinds of stuff i can learn from a podcast. For instance, there’s no way I’m really understanding quantum mechanics by listening to a podcast as I play FIFA. However, there are loads of things I can learn that don’t need my full brain capacity.
The thing to keep in mind here though, is I’m not really listening with the intent of memorizing every single detail that is talked about in an episode. The goal is not to be an expert on the topic at the end of an episode. It’s simply to increase my awareness. This way, I know enough to know that a solution might exist for a problem I run into. If I run into that problem, I know where to start looking. Besides, if I’ve learnt one new thing from an episode of a podcast, that’s totally worth it!
This one goes without saying, but obviously, I find many podcasts entertaining. They’re great fun to listen to. Coupled with the fact that some of them are also educational, it makes for a great combination.
I live in Bangalore. If you’ve been here you know that traffic here is notoriously bad. Traffic is painful for a few reasons. The obvious one of course is the amount of unproductive time spent on the road. More importantly though, traffic in Bangalore is bad enough that if you let it, it can get under your skin.
When I first moved back, I would always come home angry at some idiot who did something stupid on the road. It started to take a toll on me. That’s when I realized that me being angry isn’t going to help anything, and that I just needed to phase out when driving. Podcasts are a great way to do this. Unlike music, there’s virtually no effort involved in finding new stuff to listen to, and keep you engaged.
In conclusion, podcasts are a great way of learning stuff, while being entertained, and doing other stuff that you’d do anyway. That’s why I spend a lot of time listening to them.