The potential in podcasts: a new media for our generation

Brittany Polevikov, Assistant Features Editor

With on-demand entertainment becoming increasingly popular over the past decade, it is no surprise that an alternative to listening to pop music on the drive to school or tediously reading online sources to catch up on the news has emerged.  What is this new form of convenient entertainment? Podcasts. 

Podcasts have recently experienced a surge in popularity due to their countless benefits. They are easy to follow, cover every topic imaginable, and create a more personalized way to learn about the world around you.  However, as a high school student, it might seem hard to wrap your head around why you should spend your spare time listening to a podcast.  Though you’re not alone in your skepticism, there are plenty of compelling reasons for you to give podcasts a chance.

When you are juggling so many classes and extracurriculars, taking the time to learn new information past what you need to know to get good grades may not be in your agenda. This doesn’t have to be the case.  In fact, many podcasts are the same length as an episode of your favorite television show. 

“I used to be hesitant about starting new podcasts, but I realized listening to someone talk about a topic they are really passionate about is so much more interesting than watching 30 minutes of a show that I won’t remember in a few days,” said junior Jolie Bercow.

There is a reason podcasts are so compelling to listen to.  They are specifically created to be a more immersive way to learn and spend your spare time.  Unlike any other form of on-demand entertainment, podcasts foster a connection because they put a voice to words you might otherwise find yourself skimming over out of confusion or boredom.  Rather than finding yourself lost in a sea of words, you find yourself easily being able to understand human voice which is enthusiastically discussing anything from quantum physics to reality TV.  

And of course, you cannot disregard the convenience aspect of listening to podcasts.  You can listen to podcasts virtually anywhere, so you can simply choose your favorite and walk out the door to start your day.

“I love listening to podcasts such as Radiolab in the car with my family on long road trips.  It’s a more interesting alternative to listening to the same songs on the radio, and you actually learn something new,” said senior Shiraz Johnson.

According to a study by Edison Research, 39 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly — and millennials are the largest age group, comprising 44% of all listeners.  If you are not part of that 39 million yet, don’t worry: there is a podcast out there for you.  Simply type in the topic of your choice followed by “top podcasts,” and you will have thousands of new channels at your fingertips.  Soon enough, you’ll be part of the growing movement towards educational, riveting on-demand information.  Thank us later!