The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Opinion | Not everyone is interesting enough to have a podcast

Navya Rao

Over the past three years, podcasting has exploded. There are currently a little over three million active podcasts with over 30 million episodes released in 2022. Even though more ideas are being shared, they are not necessarily good ones.

In earlier times, podcasts were primarily the domain of experts; but today, it has become commonplace for individuals with no educational expertise to dedicate an hour each week to sharing their thoughts. Spewing opinions into a microphone — even for just one listener — is a newfound hobby adopted by many.

I agree with the enjoyment that comes with sharing personal viewpoints. However, it’s puzzling why there’s such a broad audience willing to engage with others’ life stories instead of focusing on traditional self-improvement podcasts.

Podcasts themselves aren’t the issue. Self-proclaimed, egotistical influencers-turned-podcasters are.

Alex Cooper, known for her role as a host on “Call Her Daddy,” founded the Unwell Network and kickstarted the podcast careers of TikTok influencers Alix Earle and Madeline Argy.

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Earle released her own podcast titled “Hot Mess” on Sept. 14 and has consistently ranked among Spotify’s top five podcasts since. Earle primarily shares her personal experiences and advice geared toward college students. However, it raises questions about the rationale behind seeking guidance from a privileged white woman with a marketing degree from the University of Miami.

And it does not end at Alix Earle; celebrities are increasingly joining the podcasting realm following a similar pattern. Shows like Tana Mongeau’s “Cancelled,” Barstool’s “BFFs” or Trisha Paytas’ “Just Trish” offer fans a chance to delve into the personal lives of their favorite celebrities.

Celebrities and influencers take advantage of their popularity to create podcasts just to talk about themselves and laugh at their own jokes. These shows tend to focus on personal narratives rather than delivering useful or educational content.

People have an unhealthy obsession with following those who appear to have perfect lives, hoping they can somehow become like them. In reality, listening to these podcasts won’t change their lives for the better.

If someone wants to grow as a person, they should search for guidance from credible sources. There are many alternative podcasts by influential people who have achieved beyond an influencer title. 

If you want a balance between the lives of celebrities and valuable insights, consider tuning into podcasts like “Anything Goes” by Emma Chamberlain, “Getting Curious” by Jonathan Van Ness, “The Left Ear” by Dakota Johnson or “I Weigh” by Jameela Jamil. These podcasts offer a blend of celebrity perspectives and substantial content but also help viewers stay informed about current issues and the broader world.

In a society where podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, who we choose to listen to is critical. Personal stories from celebrities and influencers dominate the podcasting environment, yet the true value of podcasts rests in the distribution of credible knowledge.

Consider what actually enriches your life as you explore the podcasting universe: personal narratives or insightful content. The choice is yours. 


Natalia is a sophomore in LAS.

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