I know, I know. “But podcasts are informative and educational.” True. I thought I would be the last person to write this article. I used my podcast app more than Spotify. I had over 20 podcasts automatically downloaded daily and I made an effort to listen to ALL of them even if I had to catch up on the weekends.
These days there’s a podcast for nearly every niche with wildly over-the-top/dramatic/serious hosts to fit your style. But no matter what podcasts you subscribe to every podcast has one commonality, one thing it does so spectacularly well it keeps us coming back for more. Podcasts are excellent at holding our attention in a headlock.
“What’s wrong with that? Most things we find cool or interesting are attention grabbers.”, I hear you. However, podcasts are almost exclusively listened to when the last thing we need to distract us is the amazingness of neon signs or a drunken conversation between YouTube stars. Our brains need time to relax and take stock of our lives.
“My brain gets plenty of time to relax, my life is going great! Besides, I learn so much from podcasts!” Dude, that’s amazing! But when are you going to actually use what you learned from that podcast? Podcasts are information junk food: it’s enjoyable, but it fattens your brain with a bunch of useless facts. Podcasts are not the only source of information junk food.
I’m not proposing that you give up podcasts for good. Just take a break and reevaluate.
Here’s the solution: Delete all your podcasts and go one week without listing to a single second of Blue Apron ads. Then, after your one-week junk information cleanse, go back to your podcast player and before resubscribing to your podcasts, ask yourself this question: Is this information immediately useful to me? 90% of the time, the answer is “No”.
After the cut, I began to actually realize how much of my thought and anxieties came from the junk information disguised as intellectual stimulus that I was binge consuming. Once you begin to realize that if it’s not directly applicable to you RIGHT NOW, it doesn’t matter, you begin to focus on the truly important things.
Try it out! Let me know how it works for you in the comments!