Apparently Podcasting is not as new as it seemed to me, when I first became hooked about a year ago. The first audioblogging, as it was called then, date back to the 1980s. But today, with mobile internet being widely accessible from every smart phone and tablet, more and more of us are infatuated with podcasts.
4 Ways I benefit from listening to podcasts
I don’t like to gym, stand in a cue or sit in traffic. Listening to a podcast while engaging in any activity that feels like a chore, makes the task all the more bearable. I like listening to music too. But unlike listening to the melodic lyrics of a song, good podcasts require focused and analytical listening. It is intellectually gripping and engaging and makes the task less tedious. Distracting while stimulating.
Listening to a podcast doesn’t rely on visual stimulation, the way film, television or video streaming does. By shutting off the visual “feed,” my mind has to draw the pictures. My imagination is automatically triggered. It has to draw the pictures to fit the audio “feed.” It activates my imagination. It is brain gym. I feel stimulated and challenged.
So many brilliant podcasts today are wonderfully interesting and educational. Making scientific, philosophical, political, historical and pop-culture theories accessible and interesting for Jo Blogs via dynamic interview platforms and debate is a common feature of the most popular podcasts. My general knowledge is expanding. I feel plugged in to the world. I am learning every day.
Listening to podcasts is my special me-time treat. I look forward to new installments of my favourite subscriptions. I put my earphones in and switch off the world and its demands on me. Other sounds are muted and the bubble of solace is especially soothing. A little mental oasis in a hectic paced life.
My favourite Podcasts for adults
By “This American Life.” True crimes uncovered week by week. Gripping. An absolute must-listen. (Click on the icon below or find Serial via Itunes.)
The Tim Ferriss Show
In every podcast, Tim Ferriss interviews dynamic individuals, from politicians, musicians to poets and business moguls, in an effort to find their secrets to success and passing it on to listeners as “life hacks.” (Click on the icon below or find The Tim Ferriss Show via Itunes.)
Host Krista Tippett, through this podcast, asks “what does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?” She explores these questions in their richness and complexity through interviews with poets, philosophers and academics, pursuing “wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge.” Beautiful. (Click on the icon below or find Serial via Itunes.)
An excellent podcast that teaches something new and incredible every week. The creators and contributors to Radiolab say it best: they “illuminate ideas, blur the boundaries between science, philosophy, and human experience.” (Click on the icon below or find Radiolab via Itunes.)
Our children can benefit from Podcasts
I like podcasts for children because, in our modern world of technological advances, there is an onslaught on our children’s senses. Often visual, auditory, physical and other senses are simultaneously bombarded. Over stimulated children may struggle with concentration, etc. Listening to podcasts asks of little people, just like ourselves, to shut off some of their senses, escape into our imagination and make up the picture to fit the story in their minds. Apart from being a calm and soothing activity, it stimulates the imagination. Imagination comes naturally to us all but we need to fight to preserve and develop it. I believe it is a muscle. A vital muscle. That needs constant stimulation to grow.
In her Wall Street Journal article, ‘The Power of Magical Thinking,’ Shirley Wang states that “research shows the importance of imagination in children’s cognitive development.” She echoes the words of my idol, Ken Robinson, who famously reminded us that “imagination is the foundation of everything that is uniquely and distinctly human. It’s the basis of language, arts, the sciences, systems of philosophy and all the vast intricacies of human culture.” – Ken Robinson, The Element 2008
Watch this short clip and be inspired!