common reasons people hate podcasts, and why those reasons are dumb

I know a ton of people who love podcasts, and I know just as many who just "don't get it." As someone who used to 100% be in the don't-get-it category, I'm writing now as an absolute podcast evangelist because over the past few months I've become a major believer.

I still love music, so don't take this as a dissertation on how music is rotting your brain and you should do something better with your time. Music is wonderful. You should always listen to music all the time. Podcasts are an excellent source of knowledge, a way to delve into subjects with experts that you might never have done otherwise, and a way to explore your interests and broaden your horizons. They're also ridiculously accessible since you don't have to take the time to sit and physically watch a screen. You can just . . . pop in some earbuds and do whatever you were already doing. I typically queue up a couple of podcasts to listen to when I'm walking my dog in the morning and evening, since our walks are usually about an hour each. I also like listening to them in the car - which will increase when I start commuting - and while I'm doing tasks like cooking or folding laundry or cleaning.

Below are some common complaints I hear about podcasts, and why said complaints are just illusions.

  1. "There's too many episodes and I don't have time to listen to all of them for context." While you may need to listen to multiple episodes to get context for story-based podcasts, many podcasts are standalone episodes that don't really require you to have any background information. You can just listen to the episodes that interest you, and skip the ones you don't. But, if you're like me and find a show you love, you'll probably go back and listen to all of the old episodes anyway.

  2. "I have this weird need where I have to listen to EVERY EPISODE in order." No, you don't. Just listen to ones you like. Although, I know it may not be as simple as I'm trying to make it sound like - I definitely struggle with this need to feel like I listened to the entire show chronologically. Get over this hurdle by making a playlist with a ton of episodes you like (whether they're from the same show or different ones) and listen through that instead, rather than worrying about the entirety of one show. Sounds basic, but I promise it helps the Type A, must-finish-the-whole-thing crowd.

  3. "No podcasts interest me." Nope. You just haven't found the right podcast for you yet. There are SO MANY different shows, and so many produced by really small-time podcasters who can't afford to get their show advertised by big companies. If you do some research on google, you'll be able to find podcasts on basically any topic, and one of them (at LEAST) will definitely interest you.

  4. "I'm not an auditory learner." This one is semi-legitimate. There are definitely people who find it difficult to process information that they intake solely through hearing it. To solve this problem, take notes on podcasts you like, or read through show notes since most podcasts have links to show notes in episode descriptions. I have a notebook where I store all of my podcast notes so that I can easily access the information later without hunting for that SPECIFIC episode, or so I can info-dump what I learned from podcasts that day all over unsuspecting listeners who most certainly Did Not Ask™.

  5. "I don't have the time." Yes, you do. You don't need to set aside hours of your day to listen to podcasts. Listen to them while you're already doing something else. You can even mindlessly scroll Instagram while tuning in.

Despite all of this flawless logic, I'm sure there are some people who just have zero interest in listening to podcasts - and that's okay. I truly believe that they're one of the best things to happen to my downtime, but that doesn't mean everyone gets it. If you have any podcast recommendations, drop them in the comments.