I don’t know about others, but I have picked up quite a collection of Podcasts that I have subscribed to over the years. This has resulted in many hours spent listening to story telling, comedy, news, educational, and a whole slew of other topics. With the pandemic, and the shift in how I use my time, I haven’t had the time while driving to sit down and really listen, which has resulted in a massive backlog of nearly a hundred hours of unlisted to podcasts.
Sure, there have been plenty of favorites that have gone unlistened to, and a few mainstays that I have managed to catch up on while mowing the lawn, or dropping my daughter off at school, but by and large, it’s been a habit that has gone to the way side. I won’t dig into specific details for which Podcasts I have subscribed to, because honestly I’m not sure that would help anybody looking to trim down their list of Podcasts.
The last few weeks, I have been much more critical in thinking about these scant podcast listening minutes, and trying to consider what kind of information I actually want to be filling my brain with. This lead me to categorizing the Podcasts I have been listening to loosely as entertainment, informative, interest, advertisement. This has been what I have ended up with, and not all of these may apply to you. Let me break this down for you, and what I’ve decided to do with each of them, and note that some of the Podcasts I have subscribed to may overlap in several categories.
Things that have gone into the entertainment category for me, are Podcasts that I just listen to for fun. This may be for laughs, or to catch a good bit of story telling. What has struck me though has been just how many Podcasts I used to listen to for fun, got bored of, and have continued to download episodes for without listening to them. I’d say probably fifty percent of the Podcasts I have subscribed to fit the “lost interest”, and I have purged them from my subscription list. It was a pretty easy decision because if I’m being honest with myself, I was never going to go back to them anyways. It was time to put them away.
These are Podcasts I have subscribed to in order to learn about something. There have been language building Podcasts, a few that I subscribed to while taking college classes, and quite a few that help learn about interest social, economic, or even just random topics. Personally, I place a high value on personal growth and education, and was a bit pickier when deciding which Podcasts to unsubscribe from. This mostly came down to me wanting to try and make sure I’m not just inundating myself with a single view point, but also I really do want to make time to continue language learning for example, but had lost some of those threads of interest in the wall of possibilities I had access to.
For me at least, I just subscribed to a ton of content that I thought I would be interested in, but it turns out I have never made time to actual listen to. For my own sanity, any Podcasts that I had listened to two or less episodes and they didn’t stick for me, they frequently got the boot.
This might be subjective for folks, but there are plenty of Podcasts out there that in reality are just long advertisements to get you interested in products. This might be movies, video games, sports equipment, books, etc… For me there is a fine line between being entertaining, and just spewing out opinions to get people to buy things. I removed just about everything in this category, advertising is targeted enough, and honestly, even if it isn’t a hard push, I don’t think that I need more excuses to spend money on things that I don’t need.
It might be funny, but I ended up unsubscribing from about fifty Podcasts, and I couldn’t be happier. This was all content that was taking up time to scroll through, used up storage, and ultimately wasn’t doing anything for me. Some things I might go back to… in fact my daughter has already asked to listen to one particular Podcast that I unsubscribed to with me. Even though it might be a small weight off my shoulders, it still feels good to free up some more room for life.