If the act of consuming media alone can make you fat, I’d be twice as rotund as I am now. Growing up in a humble barangay, I made watching TV into a knee-jerk habit. I couldn’t eat anything without watching something. Right before starting this article, I had my early dinner while binging on some classic Good Mythical Morning episodes.
That’s how engrossed I am with media—movies, TV series, comedy specials, music, music parodies, and my personal drug: YouTube videos. I need me my daily dose of WatchMojo.
As someone who has this inexplicable disdain for boredom and nothingness, I used to dread my daily commute because it bored the living shit out of me. Aside from the claustrophobic UV express rides and the anxiety of announcing my stop, I also had to deal with the dread of just sitting there, doing nothing.
The problem was that none of my usual media formats satisfied that need. I got too nauseous when staring at a screen in a moving vehicle, and I could only listen to Bill Burr bitch about overpopulation before I got sick of it. Music could only do so much—I was yet to make a lit Spotify playlist and I was too lazy to do so.
I needed a more entertaining form of media that would keep me from falling asleep during work and dealing with my shitty inner thoughts about gadgets and stuff. For the longest time, I thought nothing would fit the bill.
And Then Podcasts Changed The Game
The concept of a podcast wasn’t exactly a mystery to me. It was just one of those things that I’ve heard somewhere and I swore I’d google one day to know what the fuss was all about. I honestly thought podcasts were just hour-long interviews about mundane topics I couldn’t possibly care for, so my life as an ignoramus continued.
But one boring morning while stuck inside a crowded UV, I threw caution to the wind and opened the dreaded Podcasts app. I never realized how popular podcasting was until I saw the library of podcasts. It was overwhelming, to say the least.
Fortunately, a TED logo saved me from drowning in a sea of podcast thumbnails. I was reminded of how my lovely partner had been raving about this podcast for months, insisting to keep them on her iPad amidst the “Your Storage is Full” prompts. The fact that my highly finicky partner loves it means it must be good. So I opened the TED Radio Hour podcast and hoped for the best.
The smooth voice of Guy Raz greeted me as I began falling deeper into the rabbit hole that was the world of podcasts. This small leap of faith brought me to a full library of awesome content that made me appreciate TED Talks more. I listened to a few episodes at work and even on the ride home. When I told the love of my life about my discovery, she was delighted to finally have a podcast buddy. So we now have a new thing to bond over. Life is good.
And since that faithful (and admittedly mundane) day, I never looked back.
Why Podcasts Are Just Plain Awesome
Podcasts are godsend creations. For one, they are convenient and easy to consume. If you’re a multitasker unlike me and you haven’t discovered podcasts yet, you’re missing out. The most banal of tasks like doing the dishes can be bearable when you’re learning about how Bryan Cranston started his acting career. It’s basically a fun way of optimizing your time.
Speaking of learning new things, you can definitely learn a thing or two by listening to podcasts. Aside from our favorite TED Radio Hour, there are others dedicated to niché topics like engineering, science, health, politics. Name it and there’s probably a podcast about it. If you’re looking for a cesspool of information and knowledge, I suggest you click on that weird purple app on your phone right now.
The biggest misconception I had about podcasts is that they’re boring, and apparently, I just love to be proven wrong. What makes podcasting unique from other forms of media is the level of intimacy you get to share with the host. Every podcast session is basically just a private conversation between you, the host, and the guest/s, and you’re the introverted one who just goes with the flow—which is me IRL anyway, so yay for me.
Podcasts can also provide you a better perspective of the industry you follow. For a huge pro wrestling fan like me, podcasts like Talk is Jericho and E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness allow me to peek into the lives of my favorite wrestlers and the wrestling industry as a whole. I get to listen to them talk about their craft, their motivations, insecurities, frustrations, and inspirations. I get to learn about how they got started, how they felt about certain career moments, and how they cope with the hardships of the job with a laugh.
For once, these larger-than-life personalities—heroes and villains I’ve idolized since I was a wee lad—are humanized by these podcasts. And you know what, I appreciate them even more.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can step out of your comfort zone and listen to podcasts about topics you have zero knowledge on. Your new hobby or field of interest is just waiting around the corner, waiting for you to stumble upon it. Go out of your way to hear the stories of interesting people and discover a brand new world outside your bubble. It’s like reading a book, but with your ears. Yes, I know audiobooks exist, but whatever, you know what I mean.
Did I mention that listening to a podcast requires zero dinero? No subscriptions, no pay-per-listen, no premium features—it’s completely free. How cool is that? Podcasts do have ads though, but you can just press the skip button. And for some hosts like my man Bill Burr, reading sponsored advertisements can be equally entertaining and funny. I already mentioned that podcasts are free, right? I can’t stress this point hard enough.
Probably the biggest upside of listening to podcasts for me is the way it inspires me to be a better version of myself. Listening to stories of people who have already made it big and have figured it out gives me hope that I’ll probably get there myself in the future. I take the discussions and stories to heart and encourage myself to continue doing the things I’m passionate about, in the hopes of achieving what these people already have—not necessarily the success or fame, but the satisfaction of becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be.
What’s on My Podcast Feed?
This is just me indulging at this point, but here’s a rundown of my favorite podcasts.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m currently subscribed to pro wrestling podcasts such as Talk is Jericho, E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness, and Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. I also update myself with the country’s local pro wrestling scene by listening to the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. There are more wrestling podcasts I want to get my ears on, particularly the Art of Wrestling Podcast with Colt Cabana. It’s a controversial one for being the podcast where CM Punk revealed everything about his 2014 exit from WWE. I’ll probably start with that episode.
I’m also a comedy fanatic, so of course I’m subscribed to comedy heavyweights like The Nerdist (now called IDI0T, but I still prefer the original), Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast, and just recently, the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron after seeing the dude on GLOW. I heard Pete Holmes’ You Made It Weird podcast is also fun, so I’ll definitely add it to my list. Oh, that reminds me, I should also add Comedy Bang Bang podcast to the list. I’ve been hearing about it like crazy. Look at me being a Jericho, adding podcasts to “the list” left and right.
And of course, TED Radio Hour. It’s just an endless source of knowledge and insights. The voice of Guy Raz is the audio equivalent of butter, and it’s hard not to get sick of it. I also use it to keep tabs on the best TED Talks around. Their sister podcasts sound interesting as well, so I’ll probably give them a spin.
My list may seem a bit short, but trust me, my library of podcasts will continue to expand.
If you’re asking me why I’m trying so hard to convince you to go listen to podcasts, I don’t even even know myself. This post isn’t sponsored by any of the podcasts I mentioned. I guess I just really enjoy listening to podcasts that I bothered to write an article about it.
Who knows, this passion website of ours might become a podcast someday…if we find a way to suddenly stop being lazy, that is.