1. You MUST make sure your phone is charged before you leave the house.
And if it isn’t, you consider staying home. There’s probably no reason to go out when you can learn how a diving bell works with the Stuff You Should Know podcast, right?
2. You’ve deleted photos/videos of treasured memories to make room for more podcasts.
Really, who cares about your sister’s graduation when there’s a new episode of The Memory Palace about a guy who actually mailed himself to freedom in a box.
3. The songs that play during your favorite podcasts are the ones you listen to most.
And you can recognize the tone of a story based on the interstitial music alone, like the peppy tunes used on the This American Life episode about Cars.
4. You have had a “driveway moment” that lasted through the end of one show and into the next one.
It’s not like you can listen to a Radio Diaries teenage diary update without hearing the original, too.
5. You say “oh yeah, I heard that on a podcast” every time a current event or celebrity comes up.
6. You get really excited to talk about a podcast you just listened to.
And you can’t wait until your friends get into it, too, so you can swap favorites and nerd out the way shows like 99 Percent Invisible teach you to.
7. You know about a movie or TV show not because you watched it, but because you listened to a podcast about it.
8. You know all the personal jokes and taglines from your favorite podcasts.
And you forgive them for being a little gimmicky once in a while: “Boomer Lives!” “My boys Maslow and Carver always have something to say.” “Daaaaaaana!” “Don’t be a Stranger.” “True stories, told live, without notes.”
9. You know which day your favorite podcast comes out and download it the second it’s available.
And you have a favorite day because of that podcast.
10. Podcasts have become an integral part of your routine and it feels like something is missing when you miss one.
11. The thought of working out without a podcast to listen to is devastating to you.
And you feel extra inspired when the podcast you’re listening to matches your workout, like stepping on the treadmill and hearing the Third Coast Re:Sound Podcast’s Running Show.
12. In fact, the thought of doing most chores without a podcast to listen to is almost unbearable.
It’s almost better to just order in and listen to Al Yancovic explain the myths behind his foodie songs on The Sporkful if you can’t listen to podcasts while cooking.
13. And sometimes you invent things to do just so you can listen for a few more minutes.
What’s another Moth story if you end up getting all your laundry folded?
14. Kicking back and relaxing looks something like this:
Little known fact: Julia Roberts was jamming out to the “Don’t Leave me This Way” episode of Soul Music while recording that scene.
15. You feel special knowing the stories behind your favorite books.
And you’re charmed by how self-effacing and smart your favorite writers are, like Susan Orlean on the Longform Podcast.
16. Your love of podcasts has also helped you form some of your most ardent political opinions.
17. You have cracked up in public while listening to a podcast.
So what if people think you’re crazy? Ronna and Beverly would have no regrets.
18. And there have been times when you had to take a break from a podcast to shed a few tears.
And you know the ones that are going to make you ugly cry, like Storycorps.
19. You know more about Audible, Stamps.com, Squarespace and so many other random companies than you will ever need to.
But you don’t hate, because they are making your favorite podcasts happen. (But really, WHO IS LEASING POSTAGE METERS? IT IS 2014 PEOPLE.)
20. You know the joy that comes from making up characters in your head to go with the stories you’re hearing.
And you’re excited that you can create an entire universe, like Night Vale.
21. Podcasts have taught you some important life skills.
22. You have very strong opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of various podcast apps.
And you know which one is the worst, hands down.
23. You feel like you know your favorite podcast hosts really well.
24. You’ve evangelized to your friends about how many great stories are out there, waiting for them.
And there’s nothing more satisfying when their minds are blown by pieces like Ministry of Presence on KCRW’s UnFictional.
25. Old people think you’re some kind of computer genius for listening to podcasts (or helping them download them.)
26. But really you know you’ve got something in common with past generations, because you can get into the pleasure of listening.
Walter Murch said it, and it’s true: hearing is the first of the senses to be turned on.
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