Podcasts help students pursue interests

Ivy Raya: Hey guys, this is Ivy Raya and I’m here with Becca Richman, and I’m going to be interviewing her about podcasts. There are many different types of podcasts to listen to. The most popular type of podcast is comedy, but if that doesn’t suit you, there’s also interview, conversational, educational, or nonfiction storytelling. Every podcast has its own topic of conversation, and every person can find one that suits their interests.

Alison Mitchell

Raya (cont): So could you state your name and pronouns?

Becca Richman: Yeah, I am Becca, Richman and I use she/her pronouns.

Raya: So could you tell me about the podcast you listen to?

Richman: I listened to a bunch of podcasts recently, I have been listening to one called The Dirtbag Diaries, which is just a collection of short stories and narratives from like, the outdoors community. I also have been listening to one called The Financial Feminist, which is all about investment and financial advice for young women to bridge the gap in financial knowledge to- in order to provide women with the resources they need to be financially independent. And, I listen to a ton of them. I’ve also been listening to the classic Emma Chamberlain podcast, [I’m a] hardcore listener.

Raya: So what do you look for when you’re listening to podcasts?

Richman: I look for something that like, piques my interest. So, like I really want to get into investing and the financial world, so I looked for podcasts on that. I listened to a couple of podcasts in Spanish because I want to, like continue to improve my language abilities. And I find that just like, making sure I’m exposed to the language I’m learning every single day is really helpful. So I listen to Spanish a podcast while I drive. A lot of the time I look for like, the podcast hosts’ personalities are really important to me. If someone’s like, peppy and outgoing, it makes listening to the podcast really exciting, because sometimes listening to podcasts, I’m like, this is really boring and you’re droning on and on and I don’t want to listen to this anymore. But if the host is fun and the stories are engaging, then the time flies by.

Raya: So why listen to podcasts instead of music?

Richman: Um, for me, it depends on what I’m doing. So like, I listened to music like last year on Spotify, I listen to like, over 60 days’ worth of music. I always have it going. But music is kind of for when I have to like be thinking about something or I want to experience like, an emotion or I’m in a certain mood. But podcasts I listen to like, when I’m doing things with my hands like when I’m knitting when I’m driving. I find that podcasts keep me much more present [and] in the moment than listening to music does because music can often like, pull me out of my body and out of the space that I’m in and into a different emotional space. And also like, I just use podcasts to like learn and engage with ideas and communities in a way that you can’t always do solely with music.

Raya: So how did you get into listening to podcasts?

Richman: Um, I started listening to audiobooks over COVID and I was like, wow, that is such a huge commitment, to like listen to an audiobook, and there’s not very many on Spotify and I refuse to pay for it. And then, I think through TikTok someone- I saw a recommendation for the Dirtbag Diaries and I was like, this is awesome, I want to like, connect more with the outdoors community. So I started listening to that. And then the job I worked last summer, I had to drive 30 to 45 minutes every day. And like, music gets old fast when you listen to it for that much time, so I would start listening to a podcast episode every day on my way to work and on my way home and it made the time go by fast, and it just kind of snowballed and now I listen to podcasts all the time.

Raya: How would you recommend getting into podcasts?

Richman: I recommend finding one that is about something you’re really interested in and the episodes aren’t that long. So I started with listening to a podcast, um, called Things You Should Know where the episodes are like, 15 minutes long and it’s really random information. But I found, I find like just knowing strange facts and like, knowing more about the world really interesting, so I got into that. Um, yeah, I’d recommend finding something you’re interested in, finding a podcast that is well reviewed, and that there’s a larger community around because that’s a good sign that it’s gonna be engaging because there’s a lot of like, tiny podcasts that are kind of mid out there. So I would talk to other people you know who listen to them.

Raya: How do you feel about like, the TikTok podcasts like Nessa Barrett, Josh [Richardson] whatever,

Richman: Um, I think they have their- like, I listen to TMG which isn’t really a TikTok podcast, but it is like, [it] came from social media, [it] came from YouTube. And I think they have an awesome time in place of like, they are comedy, they are a form of long-form content that people can relate to and engage with, and I think that’s great. And I find watching the videos on TikTok of like, people recording podcasts, really fun. But I think it’s definitely a subgenre of like, that’s a comedy and a like entertainment podcast. There’s also like, the MPR podcasts and like, the news podcasts that are more on the like, gathering knowledge side of things. So, I think they’re great. I think like any type of media there are some that are problematic and some that are really fun.

Raya: So why listen to podcasts as opposed to like, reading the newspaper, with like NPR.?

Richman: Um, you can do it while you do other things. And um, it’s also a lot of the time- like I know a lot of people who like, put on Netflix in the background just to like, fill this space of sound, and I just do that with podcasts. So, I will never sit down and read a newspaper but I’ll listen to like, The Daily or something because it feels much more digestible.

Raya: So then, um, are your friends also listening [to] podcasts? Have you gotten them into it?

Richman: I have some friends that do. SPA- not a lot of people at SPA listen to podcasts, which surprises me because I know a lot of SPA people like, read a lot, or watch a lot of movies or like, engage with a lot of like, media. But podcasts feel much less listened to. But my friends outside of school and I, we all listen to um, this one podcast together about like, music and like, playing music and guitar and all those things, and it’s really fun to talk with them about it. And then, I just kind of like, talk to my friends at SPA’s ear off about the podcasts that I’m listening to like, I’ll come in and be like: Alison, you’ll never guess, I listened to this podcast about daylight savings time. So, I feel like anyone would tell you that I kind of don’t shut up about it.

Raya: So how do you find them? Like, and what platform do you use?

Richman: Like the podcasts?

Raya: Yeah.

Richman: Um, honestly, Spotify recommends a lot of them to me and I’m just like, wow, that seems cool, or like the cover art is interesting. Some of the people I follow on TikTok also make podcasts. So there’s this whole podcast about like, how do you spend time alone and how do you like, get to know yourself really well that I found through Tik Tok. Mostly it’s just through social media.

Raya: Why do you think podcasts are less listened to than music?

Richman: It’s a time commitment to do it. Like, music you can put on for like, three minutes at a time, and podcasts feel much more like reading or engaging with media like, you have to like, mentally be there. And I think music is also much more accessible.

Raya: And then, anything else you’d like to say about podcasts?

Richman: Uh, some podcasts are really bad, and if you listen to a bad podcast, it doesn’t mean you hate podcasts, just listen to a better one.

Raya: This has been Ivy Raya interviewing Becca Richman. Thank you for listening to this podcast.

Music Credits:
Wholesome Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License