Let me tell you a little about the podcast listener, reader, and audiobook listener I used to be.
I didn’t read, I devoured.
I would stay up until 11:30 pm and then went “well…I can just get the next book and like read the first chapter” and then it was 3 am and “well, I’m not going to sleep now so I might as well get the next one”…and then go to work and sneak off on every break I can to read and then do it until I finished the series. (I have now had to ban myself from reading novels during the work week or I will miss work.) I ruminated. I would spend days thinking about the world, the implications, and how it changed my life to have read that book. I totally wrote fanfic in my head (though I didn’t really call it that because I didn’t know). I would occasionally spend Sunday brunches rehashing all of that would a good friend.
I loved books. Books helped me survive breakups, job loss, and deaths. Books comforted me when I couldn’t get out of bed. Books were my friend when I felt utterly alone.
Podcasts and audiobooks?
I wasn’t just a listener. I never work out without them. Frankly I don’t know that I could leave the house without earbuds and something I’m looking forward to listening to. Every walk I’ve taken, every trip to the gym, every time I took the long walk home from work…It was always a podcast or audiobook.
Rethinking work? Planning a novel? Need a new organization strategy? A new to do app? Want to learn…anything? It was always podcasts and audiobooks. The amount I have learned and the ways I have changed my life thanks to podcasts and audiobooks is immeasurable.
But you might notice something is missing from how I interacted with those things. I never joined a Facebook group, emailed, joined an email list, visited a website*, or tweeted. I never interacted with the authors, creators, hosts, producers, narrators. I honestly never even thought about it for a moment. I never had any interest in connecting. I absolutely thought of those people as real, I would often see or hear their journies in ways that I could follow very closely. I never reached out to tell someone that they made a tremendous difference in my life. I never conveyed that someone helped me get out of bed when I felt like I was too depressed to get up. I never told an author, a podcaster or a narrator that they made me feel like I could do it, that they gave me the confidence in myself, that I stand taller because of them.
But they did. All those things. Authors, podcastors, narrators, creators. You did that.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person like this. Because people like this (me) don’t speak up and tell you they exist. Not everyone engages. Some just consume. We quietly download, buy, listen, and love. We cherish, adore, rage, and admire. Even though we never engage on social media.
When I am stressed, busy, tired, sad, whatever…I retreat to this position. Consuming, so much consumption. But not so much engagement. Because it’s something I don’t understand. It’s not intuitive to me. Consumption is intuitive.
I just wanted to let people who feel like only the engaged consumers care…others are out there. We just…are different.
*I have occasionally check show notes to follow a link to a story or paper, but usually just went right to google myself and only went back to the show notes when I couldn’t find it on google myself. And I would be more likely to give up than go to the show notes.