Podcasting: The Rise of Authenticity?

Podcasting, new “it media,” has begun to show the realities of our ever-changing media landscape. The rise of this form of communication truly shows our shift in needs for authenticity, human connection and, surprisingly, opinionated information.

We want to feel like we are being authentically spoken to. What better way than an actual person sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings in a personal way? The feeling that you are just hanging out with an old friend when you tune into your favorite podcast is not an accident - we truly feel that we know these people, and that we have been invited into their exclusive mind.

Our generation has statistically shown a major shift toward authenticity. We do not just want authenticity, we demand it. Brands have taken note, shifting their business models to reflect a more transparent and authentic tone and voice. But so have people. Those wanting to succeed with their own personal brand have taken vast efforts to reach their audiences authentically, with a voice that is their own. This is largely due to how we have grown tired of the falseness that is found on social media, as well as the rise of Gen Z as listeners and consumers. Generation Z are known for their focus and desire for authentic connection, as they have been able to develop a healthy skepticism in their content.

This is where podcasting comes in. It’s a chance to hear someone’s thoughts, almost as if you are in their house sharing an interesting conversation. To be successful in podcasting is to present new and entertaining ideas, usually very opinionated and honest thoughts. It is no wonder that podcasters such as Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey have become so successful - they have mastered the technique of showing a new, more human side of celebrities and public figures we only see the polished sides of.  

Yet there are also downsides. Podcasts have a tendency to show one-sided, often very opinionated views. It is in the listener’s hands to ensure they are getting a variety of opinions on major topics in order to make up their minds for themselves.

The growth of podcasting reveals quite an interesting fact about what we crave as individuals and as a society - true, honest humanity. Are we, as a society, finally phasing out the fake and shiny side of social media and online connection? Or does podcasting present a different level of issues regarding biased, one sided media? Let us know what you think!

Paige Cabianca