Andy Nicolaides

March 7, 2021

The Tech Podcast Bubble

Hey, World 👋 

I’ve noticed a lot of people, especially during the last difficult year, leaving or taking breaks from Twitter for the sake of their mental well-being. While I have, thankfully, yet to let the many negatives of that medium get to me, my own personal bug bear has been tech podcasts. 

Before the pandemic I had a commute that was, give or take, about 2 hours each direction. Four painful, monotonous hours of crawling through traffic. To keep me from going stir crazy, I used to listen to a lot of podcasts, particularly tech focused ones. When I listened to them sparingly I used to really enjoy them. When you start to listen to them in greater volumes, however, they really ended up feeling painful.

I’m writing this now, because I risked dipping back in to the world of tech podcasting yesterday and the first episode I listened to contained a quote that instantly reminded me about why I stopped listen to them in the first place. I can’t embed videos here, because I’m using HEY World to post this, but hopefully you’ll be able to see and hear the very short clip HERE.

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Once I heard that sound bite, and I’d stopped cringing, I deleted that podcast and moved onto listening to something more positive. I imagine the ‘old boys club’ mentality is prevalent in many genres of podcast, to be fair, and the echo chamber effect is amplified because of the groups and people I choose to follow but I’m certainly to steer clear for now. Initially it actually felt quite hard to drop these shows I’d been a follow of for a long time. I wondered if I’d miss a bit of valuable information, or miss out on an inside joke. Looking back, I can’t remember the last time I actually learned something from a tech podcast I didn’t know already. I don’t say this to imply I somehow know all there is to know on the topic, more so that because I’m interested in the subject I’ve generally already read about it elsewhere.

Freeing myself from this particular echo chamber has been great. I’ve allowed myself the opportunity to enjoy the technology I choose to use, instead of being beaten down by the constant negativity and small quibbles about the smallest of things. 

The biggest net gain has been a clearing out of a lot of old shows, and the discovery of a far wider breadth of subject matter and host. You can really tell the difference between people that host a show because they enjoy it, and those that turn up every week simply to pay the bills, regardless of having anything useless or insightful to share. 

If you find yourself stuck in a bit of a rut of repeating voices, an old boys club of rehashed opinion and negativity I’d highly recommend branching out. Chances are you know all you need to know on that particular subject and it’s a great chance to use that listening time to learn about a subject you know little to nothing about. 

I imagine my commute will, rather sadly, need to resume fairly soon. I’m not relishing the thought, to be completely honest, but with it will come with the opportunity to spread my podcast listening wings still further. If you want any suggestions for any non-tech shows I may listen to, or you want to let me know about anything you make please just drop me a note

Thanks for reading.