Both TV and podcasts tend to hypnotize me in to listen and watching submission for hours. Both are distracting and most last at least a half hour. The big difference is that podcasts can be subscribed to and personalized by the consumer. TV is about channel surfing and landing on endless junk that not only sucks you in and eats away hours, but makes you dumber.
I recently discovered podcasts while in Billings, Montana working for the Department of Energy in an internship. I randomly discovered The B.S Report through ESPN Radio hosted by ESPN sports writer Bill Simmons one day and went from there. I currently subscribe and listen heavily to a number of podcasts from comedy and sports to entrepreneurship and public radio. A couple examples I recommend are Adam Corolla, Bill Simmons, Bill Maher, Chicago Public Radio, The Moth, Escape from Cubicle Nation, Hardcore History and Stanford Technology Corner.
Alright, now you have the history in check. There are a couple of benefits podcasts have over TV:
1. You do not have to sit and watch podcasts. Unlike TV you can get other things done while listening to podcasts. I personally do many tasks that I could not have done if I sat on a couch watching a screen: washing dishes, cooking, working out, brushing my teeth and driving a car. All other benefits essentially stem from this one.
2. Podcasts make mundane or boring tasks more enjoyable than TV, because you only listen and not watch. This then makes dish washing and cleaning the bathroom far less horrible and borderline enjoyable for me.
3. Because you can listen to a podcast while dishwashing for example, mundane tasks are then less mundane and are avoided less than before. Your to-do list gets checked off faster because it is magically pared with something enjoyable
4. Helps develop listening abilities and multitasking
5. One can subscribe to podcasts based on their personal tastes. I will expand further.
Because you can subscribe to a handful of podcasts chosen by you, you do not have to filter through the material that you wouldn’t like. If you do subscribe to a podcast and you don’t like it, it’s easy to unsubscribe. One click done and goodbye. Whereas if you don’t have Tivo or DVR and record all the TV you will ever watch, you will spend a lot time surfing the channels for something that sounds interesting. This usually results in a lot of wasted time and its never coming back. I personally get my laughs from Corolla, sports from Simmons, Politics from NPR and Maher (biased I know), and business/internet/economics from a handful of podcasts. I really don’t need to sift through TV.
Podcasts are also portable. Most of us now have ipods and can carrying around podcasts. Now at any moment during the day I have no excuse to be bored when traveling from place to place. Subway ride? Bus ride? In the car? Walking? Jogging? Biking? Whatever mode of transportation you choose can instantly become more fun with podcasts. I found working out to be far more enjoyable and overall more “do-able” because I am not bored and not focusing on the pain.
So if you have not experienced podcasts check it out. Its really easy just go to itunes music store and click on podcasts or search for one you heard about.
Please let me know if this posts has convinced anyone to cut down on TV and tried out podcasts!