Los Angeles, CA, 09/22/2021 / Podopolo /
Social media promised so much. It could have connected the world and democratised global conversation in a way that uplifted and empowered people. Instead it has led to further polarisation in our societies and a coarsening of public conversation.
Social podcasting is the antidote.
Podcasting is an intimate and enlightening medium, and by allowing people to connect with their friends through shared interest in podcasts that inspire, we can bring honest, long-from conversation out from the shadows and let it fix the bad habits that social media has been actively encouraging.
Podopolo, with Melinda Wittstock at its helm, is attempting to reverse the damage done by offering a different form of social media.
“The problem with social media is that users want to feel more connected, yet what it [social media] does is it creates the illusion of connectivity, while promoting the opposite. When have you looked at social media and felt heard or validated? It’s increasingly rare because social media has become less about social interactions, but more about self-promotion. Podopolo strives to cross that divide and truly connect people and encourage interaction and a sense of community, something that social media has repeatedly tried and failed to do.”
When asked why Podopolo will succeed where social media has failed, the CEO of Podopolo continues with, “Social media is entertaining but mindless. There is no substance to much of the content being shared on social media. It’s shared because it’s shareable and not because it starts real conversations, which is what connection is. Podopolo has been connecting like-minded individuals through passion and will continue to do so as long as human beings crave connection.”
Social media has come a long way from its original mission of connecting the world. Facebook feeds us seductive, eye-catching short-from content to keep us on the site for as long as possible, in order to sell our data to the highest bidder through Facebook ads. Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok all share the same snappy algorithms created to keep the user scrolling, consuming, and sharing, all of which contain real-world consequences. Research has found that false news stories are about 70% more likely to be retweeted than true stories are. It takes true stories about six times as long to reach 1,500 people as it does for false stories to reach the same number of people.
While fake news is also spread through podcasts, the fact that podcasts are consumed in minutes, or hours, makes it easier for users to spot half-truths. We often share an article after glancing at it for a second. Podcasts lend themselves to slower consumption and even slower sharing.
Social media isn’t going anywhere. As long as we have the internet, we’ll socialise through it. But we can do better and that’s why we need to make podcasts social.
“Social media has let us down,” Wittstock reiterates, “but it isn’t too late to change track by connecting it to the most meaningful content we consume, and adding nuance, depth and honesty to our online conversations once again. After all, conversations are best understood when spoken, not typed.”
Melinda Wittstock is CEO of Podopolo – the app that makes listening social.