listening to podcasts has officially been a hobby of mine for almost two years. Podcasts are a significant but still underrepresented form of media, where any type of information can be discussed on – lifestyle topics, politics, medicine, religion, and so on.
I don’t know much about the history of podcasts, but I believe that they have some strong connection with the radio industry. In fact, I do enjoy the radio, sometimes even more than tv. They’re different, but they have the potential to deliver entertainment and information in such a constructive way. For tv and movies, you need to be skilled and educated on a visual level. When it comes to podcasts, you really need one thing to follow a podcast episode and that is a good ear.
Listening is a skill that must be rationally improved on a daily basis. It is not easy to listen to. Most of the times, especially in first world countries, hearing is what people must do. You can hear a song and find it catchy, but you actually don’t pay attention to the lyrics. You can hear someone’s story, but you may not grasp the real-life lesson behind it. For this reason, podcasts are a form of communication that not everyone is willing to take into consideration. In order to follow podcasts, you should be listening to the actual words that the people ask, tell, and discuss. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time. You can simply hear your favourite song: it’s more productive if you don’t want to listen to a podcast.
My experience with podcasts was kinda “forced”. In Italy, podcasts are not a real thing that usually young people listen to or do in their free time or for a job. I became more interested in those when I took a Journalism class, where the professor asked us to build a two minutes recording to put in our multimedia project. That class occurred at the beginning of my sophomore year. I had already listened to some podcasts, especially made by college students, but my listening to them was really a sporadic thing.
While taking that class and after that, I kept listening more and more to lifestyle podcasts, with the excuse to craft my English better and better. Not only my English has been improving thanks to this practice, but I’ve also learned many things. From scientific topics to French culture (yes, I had and still have a thing about the French language… I will learn it one day), from Black culture to storytelling, and so on.
It’s been almost six months that I’ve been religiously listening to several series of podcasts, including Adwoa Aboa’s Gurls Talk, the series Modern Love by The New York Times, and the Moth radio hour on Spotify.
The other day I came across another podcast series, specifically a Facebook Watch production called The Red Table Talk, hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and Adrienne Banfield- Norris. I liked it because you can both listen and watch it, so it entertains in both ways. At the same time, I feel like sometimes it is staged and I’m afraid to listen to something that it is not genuinely spoken or revealed at the moment of the interview itself. Uhm, but it’s not a major problem. From what I’ve seen and listened to so far, those ladies have been telling me some real stuff.
I’ll definitely keep this habit of mine. Podcasts are great. I listen to them before going to sleep, at the gym, when I’m walking in the city, on the subway, while walking from one class to another on campus. Of course, I need to just chill sometimes and only listen to a couple of my jams to boost my soul up, but when it comes to learning, every time is a good time to educate yourself and learn something about the world.