Life Before Podcasting: A Quaint Tale of Commuting Silence


Once upon a time, in the dark ages of the early 2000s, people were forced to endure the excruciatingly silent void that was their commute. Yes, dear readers, it’s true! There existed a world where the sweet sound of someone discussing conspiracy theories while sampling artisanal cheeses didn’t echo through our headphones.

In the ancient days of yore, people had no choice but to listen to the radio, CDs, or worse – their own thoughts. Can you imagine the horror? Picture it: a lone driver stuck in traffic, desperately flipping through radio channels like a DJ on a caffeine binge, praying to stumble upon something remotely interesting. Spoiler alert: they rarely did.

Back then, car rides were filled with awkward silence, the occasional static from a weak radio signal, and the haunting echoes of one’s own questionable singing. People were practically stranded on an auditory island, forced to face the harsh reality that their playlists were, in fact, not as eclectic as they had once believed.

And let’s not forget the brave souls who dared to endure public transportation. Buses and trains were veritable chambers of silence, with nothing but the rustle of newspapers and the occasional cough to punctuate the monotony. It was a dark age, indeed.

Then came the saviors of the silent masses: Podcasts. These digital nuggets of wisdom burst onto the scene, rescuing humanity from the depths of audio despair. No longer were people bound by the tyranny of mainstream radio or condemned to suffer through Top 40 hits on an endless loop. Podcasts offered a smorgasbord of topics, from the profound to the downright bizarre.

Gone were the days of being stuck with whatever uninspired playlist a radio station had on repeat. Now, commuters could tune in to riveting discussions about the mating habits of penguins or delve deep into the world of competitive knitting. The possibilities were endless, and so was the laughter.

Life before podcasts seems like a distant, sepia-toned memory now. The silence has been replaced with the symphony of voices, each podcast host vying for the coveted title of “The One Who Keeps You Sane During Rush Hour.”

So, let us take a moment to appreciate the pioneers who endured the pre-podcast era, who navigated the barren audio landscape with nothing but sheer willpower and the occasional CD skip. For today, we are the fortunate ones, cruising through life with the dulcet tones of our favorite podcast hosts guiding us through traffic, making every commute an adventure worth listening to.

Photo: Steven Arenas

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