My biggest realisation in the last 6 months has been of gratitude and of acceptance of the situation we are all in and learning to co-exist, to live and work with the virus ‘looming’ in our midst. Once you reach this juncture of comprehension, things begin to fall into place and a sense of balance can be achieved.
This has led me to explore other meaningful connections in the new ‘better’ (as this is definitely not normal). As we all grapple with a multitude of professional and personal readjustments finding our firm footing in this new better, the one silver lining has surely been a learning of better management of one’s time. There’s much more time beyond an 8-10 hour work day at our disposal now.
The proliferation of digital distribution of content has led to a new era of media consumption – what pleases the eyes, appeases the mind. However, after dabbling in a range of content over the last few months, I have found my unrequited solace in audio content due to the sheer power of the medium and the wide availability of quality audio content.
Be it music, podcasts or audio books, they have become my daily staples. Whether it is passive engagement of audio content while going about your daily chores, working out or juggling to meet a deadline or a more focussed and immersive podcast content.
My personal discovery of audio content has moved me from being an ardent admirer of music to story telling to unscripted podcasts to scripted podcasts to audio dramas and audio books. Today they all coexist as they demand varying degrees of focus and engagement.
Personally, I have gone back to basics! In the current times, nostalgia has been playing a major role making people reminisce, as what we have grown to call it now, the pre-covid days and I am no exception.\
My day begins with my ‘wake-up’ music from Pink Floyd and Krishna Das to Queen, Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull and the likes. As I kick back post work or indulge in grilling some meats on weekends, listening to timeless music from Kishore Kumar and RD Burman to some classic rock, my days are incomplete without their soulful tracks.
Taking short breaks from the volley of video calls, I’m hooked onto my favourite podcasts like The Daily by New York Times, 3 Things by Indian Express, Cyrus Says, Hasan Minhaj and the Night Vale Podcast. Current affairs, Humour and Thrillers are my preferred genres.
What makes audio content an easy favourite for me is its unmatched ability to communicate directly, in an non-intrusive manner. It is far less disruptive than screen time and can be seamlessly integrated to any routine. As soon as you plug in with the perfect music, podcast or an audiobook, the chaos outside cancels out and you feel the stress slipping through.
Today, there’s a variety of genres, languages and formats that are being experimented with. A wide catalogue of music, podcasts, storytelling and audiobooks to explore through, listeners are spoilt for choice now, more than ever. One just has to decide if they want a background companion or engage in an uninterrupted fashion while choosing their preferred format.
Being a die-hard audiophile, I believe, that if the last few years were all about touch, the coming times are about the magic of audio; from voice searches, interactive smart devices to the internet of things set to rule our lives.
With documentaries like The Social Dilemma highlighting the horrifying impact of social networking, there sure will be a surge in audiences across age groups finding recourse in meaningful content and consumers will be enthralled by the phenomenon of audio! There has also been a remarkable change in cultural conversations with respect to the medium. We are seamlessly shifting from ‘What are you binge-watching’ towards ‘What are you listening’!