The year is 2012; my only worry in the world is the Mayan's apocalypse prediction and Kony. My birthday came and past and with it, I received an iPod Touch. People talk about their "peak" life moments when they marry or have children, but I have yet to have a single event that beats the pure bliss I felt unwrapping a small cardboard box and seeing that half-bitten logo. I downloaded every song, game, an app that I could fit on that device, only to experience the first of many "Storage Almost Full" notifications. I looked around my iPod for any disposable app and found the Apple Podcast app. I didn't know what podcasts were, and frankly, all I actually cared about was downloading Suite Life on Deck. Six years later, I'm clearing songs, games, and apps to make room for podcasts and hopefully after you read this article, you will be too.
1. Successful entrepreneurs listen to them
Successful entrepreneurs are vigilant in the art of info-sponging through podcasts. Info-sponging is where every day you spend a short period of time researching a specialized topic. By having the basic understanding of a wide variety of subjects, entrepreneurs are able to create successful companies by pulling from the different theories, innovations, and technologies that they have learned about. While Uber has seen controversies and failures, their business model is the perfect example.
Through info-sponging their founders, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, had a basic understanding of the sharing economy, task-based freelance work, micropayments, home-based business, and the transportation industry. They pulled what had previously successful been successful with other companies, left the aspects which had previously failed, and created a business that revolutionized mass-transportation.
You have more time than you think.
The beautiful thing about podcasts is the ease of access. The podcasts are all pre-recorded and immediately available on your phone. Unlike radio shows which have a set listening time, podcast listeners have complete control over their listening habits. This gives us a unique opportunity to listen to them walking to class, during the commute to work or school, while you're cooking, or really any other time that you can multi-task. You may think you're too busy to educate yourself on that hot-button topic Angela from accounting is always talking about, but in reality, it is just a tap away.
They aren't all just politics and technology
When many of my friends think of podcasts, they think of talking heads discussing Trump's politics or innovation in neuroscience. In reality, there are tens of thousands of podcasts that showcase comedy, culture, music, drama, and many other unique varieties. The Joe Rogan Experience is a podcast by a standup comedian, This American Life provides a voice to individual Americans who would otherwise be overlooked, and Serial gives listeners a dramatic insight into an alleged killer. I promise that if you have a niche hobby or interest, there is a podcast for that.
4. They will increase your creativity!
A study by Emma Rodero at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona illustrated that dramatized podcasts are the best medium for stimulating creativity in their listeners. The outcome of the study showed that participants who listened to the dramatized story told researchers that they generated more lucid imagery and did so faster than a normal narration structure. Subjects also reported that they were more emotionally invested in the story. Take a chance and try listening to Serial instead of watching Netflix's "Making A Murderer", your brain might just like it more.