In the last couple of decades, the internet has grown immensely and has impacts and ramifications on the daily life of billions of people. Technology has also grown during the same time and we now live in an age where many people have access to much of the world in the palm of their hand. There have been incredible strides made in medical technology: we’re at the beginning of growing organs in labs, teletherapy allows for easier access to therapy through chat/email and phones. Artificial intelligence is becoming more of a reality, with sites being able to suggest products or music based on your search history and internet behavior.
Learning about the internet is a critical part of everyday life for billions of people. Anyone with a laptop or smartphone and internet access could, in theory, have a platform that reaches millions of people. YouTube stars have changed the landscape of media and according to the Pew Research Center, social media has been reshaping the landscape of news in ways we’re only starting to understand. In an age where the Internet plays such a vital and complicated role in everyday life, how do we begin to comprehend everything?
There are podcasts and specific episodes that have in-depth and nuanced conversations about the internet and technology. The following are just some of these conversations.
Call Your Girlfriend: ‘Instagram Anxiety’ [February 1st, 2019]
Call Your Girlfriend is a podcast hosted by two long-distance best friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman. In the ‘Instagram Anxiety’ episode, Aminatou and Ann talk about the internet, Fyre Fest, Instagram, and being a person on different platforms. Their conversation is nuanced and addresses the complexity of social media, including being more well known on some platforms and the tech industry.
The Dropout from ABC News
The Dropout is a relatively new show that’s produced by ABC News and hosted by Rebecca Jarvis. This show takes a look at the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, a dropout from Standford turned tech CEO and youngest self-made female billionaire. Holmes started and ran Theranos, a tech company that set out to revolutionize medical technology with a machine that could run several blood tests with only a drop of blood instead of vials of it.
Using three years of investigative journalism, conversations with former employees, and court documents, Jarvis and her producers look at the deception behind Theranos and how Holmes was able to pull it off for so long.
Prime(d) from KUOW
From Seattle’s NPR station, Prime(d) is a podcast all about what it means when Amazon comes to your town. The show started after Amazon announced a nationwide search for a city to host its second headquarters (HQ2). Amazon has been in the Seattle area since its start in 1994 and now occupies 19% of the city’s prime office space, more than any other employer in any major US city. The company has radically changed Seattle in many ways, including infrastructure, housing, and jobs.
Prime(d) takes a look at the good and bad of having Amazon headquarters in your city, the search for a second headquarters, and the reactions to the company splitting HQ2 between Queens in New York City and the Washington, DC area. Each episode is usually 15-20 minutes long and even the earlier episodes from the fall of 2017 and winter of 2018 provide valuable insight to how Amazon and its technology shapes everyday life for millions of people.
Reply All from Gimlet Media
Any podcast related conversation about the internet is obviously going to include Gimlet’s Reply All. This show is hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman and takes a look at the internet and internet culture in ways that allow anyone to better understand what’s going on. They’ve done episodes on issues like the 2015 implosion of Reddit, domain sales, internet famous dogs like Marnie the dog, and so much more. And there’s even the occasional segment called ‘Yes, Yes, No’, where Vogt and Goldman explain different internet things, like weird Twitter, to Gimlet co-founder Alex Blumberg.
- Reply All: the podcast that found itself while getting lost online by Melissa Locker, The Guardian
[TLDR] from WNYC Studios
This show started in the fall of 2013 and ran for about a year and a half. It was hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, the same team behind Gimlet’s Reply All.