I’m a fairly rabid consumer of information.
In fact, I am an out and out information junkie, constantly feeding stuff into my brain so that it is bursting with all the info things.
This mostly comes from the kind of work I do (loads of writing and editing stuff, mostly in digital marketing and journalism) but also because I am fairly curious about the world and have a bit of FOMO when it comes to knowing what’s going on.
I’m also a bit of a smartarse, so I like to be able to talk to people about whatever it is they want to chat about and at least have some vague understanding of the topic (but am not too proud to ask about it if I don’t!)
Not that I always retain all the info stuff, but there is a fair bit saved in my brain, probably a lot more archived and admittedly some in the trashcan that never actually gets emptied.
*Note to self — delete brain trash.
In general, I collect this assorted data because I am attached at the fingertip to either my computer keyboard as I work throughout the day or my smartphone or tablet, which are usually in my hand the rest of the time (digital junkie, sadly yes).
Although in recent times, I have been super conscious of trying not to be on my phone as I walk and therefore actually pay attention to my surroundings (which admittedly is just another form of data collection, I guess) and dropping my devices an hour or so before bedtime to try and combat the blue-light scourge that’s killing many of our sleeps.
But, believe it or not, in a digital world, and as someone who has worked in a variety of content roles, I am only a very recent convert to podcasts.
How did I hold off for so long??!
So as to not sound a complete ass, I had very occasionally listened to Pods, particularly before and during the 2016 US presidential election when I became addicted to both 538 and their pod.
But after the election, I dropped them and went on my merry way, not really missing them that much even as I spoke to other friends who were pod lovers.
Most of the way through a Masters degree in Publishing & Communications, I took a trip to China to do an intensive class at Fudan University (Shanghai — like WOW, add it to your bucket list once international travel kicks in again). I got chatting to some of my classmates, most of whom were 10 or so years younger than me and podcasts were mentioned.
This is not to say it’s a generational thing as I have mates of all ages who listen to pods, but certainly this group of educated comms types were WELL into them.
Coincidentally, this occurred around the time chatter about the 2020 presidential election kicked off (OK, there’s a pattern here, sure), and so the first pods off the rank were 538 and NPR.
But then as they wound their cheeky way into my curious info collecting grey matter, I began adding others. Mostly newsy ones like the BBC Global News pod, CNN, NY Times but also others of more general interest, one-offs, docos etc.
Well, I probably on average listen to 2–3 hours a day, which I guess isn’t too much, but it has certainly become as important a channel to gather more life info (as if my over-stimulated brain needed more, right?), analysis and just interesting fact stuff, all of which helps with my own writing.
Are you a podcast junkie?
And what do you listen to?