Alright, here’s the part where the millennial admits that they’ve recently discovered something that those in previous generations have been rattling on about for decades. Something that revealed the imaginative power of words before that dumb picturebox consumed entire afternoons and popular streaming sites became synonymous with some pretty sinful behavior. A little something called radio broadcasting has made a modern day resurgence, and its name is the podcast. Simmering experimentally under the surface since 2009, it is only recently that mainstream culture has been reminded of this glorious method of narrative storytelling.
For those that may doubt the far reaching appeal of these “boring” talk radio programs, there is something for absolutely everyone. Among the most popular podcasting topics resides crime podcasts: investigative journalism and stimulating narrative wrapped into one heck of a ride. The first listen from this genre should be “In the Dark.” A podcast from American Public Media diving into the Jacob Wetterling case, this hometown crime story pulled every Minnesotan’s heart strings.
Less drama, more mental stimulation? Try “99% Invisible” from the Radiotopia podcast network. Seeking the hidden elements that shape our everyday lives, “99% Invisible” will always give you something to talk about at your next dinner party.
On the same note is the “TED Radio Hour,” one of my all-time favorites. National Public Radio cultivates TED Talks from around the world to inspire and inform listeners for an hour-long afternoon pep talk.
Sick of everyone else weighting you down with their super smart podcast talk? “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” from the Maximum Fun podcast network gives the term advice podcast a whole new meaning. This wildly hilarious and ridiculously inappropriate podcast brings three comedic brothers together to answer user submitted questions and anything that may lurk on Yahoo Answers. It’s always a good laugh.
In the podcast world, it’s hard not to find something that would completely steal your attention for an afternoon. From giving independent journalism another necessary platform to entertaining a twenty-something dishwasher, podcasts have given portable sound to the all-to-quiet moments of life. I’m thankful that we’ve found a way to continue making storytelling and entertainment imaginative. Radio. Podcasts. The difference may not seem indistinguishable to those living in the post-internet world, but I thank those before me for showing us all that talking can be fun. I will keep listening.