(Pod)Cast aside your doubts: why everyone should listen to podcasts

Naia Willemsen, Spotlight Editor

Ever since I can remember, whenever I’ve gotten into the car with my dad, we’ve listened to NPR. Rather than turning on the radio to hear whatever pop song is at the top of the charts, I grew up listening to news and stories.
And yes, it might have bothered me at first; while most kids my age were rocking out to Taylor Swift, I was listening NPR’s “All Things Considered.” But over the years, I’ve come to appreciate these times and the knowledge that’s been imparted on me through listening.
And so it only seemed natural that I’d start listening to podcasts. There’s something about learning through listening, or storytelling through listening, that can be very appealing. Most teenagers, and people in general, are told they should read more. And while books may not be practical for everyone—reading takes uninterrupted time we don’t all have—podcasts are a great alternative.

While listening to a podcast, one can do any number of other tasks: driving, laundry, dishes, or even art. Any of these things, done on their own, take up a great chunk of timethat many of us say we don’t have. So why not multitask and take in information while you’re learning? Yes, you could listen to music, but often there are ads or interruptions (because who wants to pay for Spotify Premium when you can get it for free?) and listening to the same songs over and over can get old pretty fast. Podcasts, especially storytelling podcasts such as Serial, draw you in and help time pass quickly. Oh, and they’re free.
They’re also beneficial to the brain, and improve concentration and listening skills.
Podcasts are also extremely portable; if you have an iPhone, you can download them for free in the Podcasts app to take anywhere, including places where you don’t have wifi and can’t stream music. If not, they’re usually available on the podcast’s website online.
There are so many different types of podcasts: there are informative podcasts, storytelling podcasts, and so many more. Anyone can find a podcast they like and listen to an episode.
Next time you’re faced with a large list of mindless chores or a long car ride, download a podcast. You might be surprised with how much you enjoy it.