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Listening to the Radio

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I’ve just turned off the radio so I can begin writing this post. Ironic. I have been listening to the radio almost every day, with a few exceptions over the last few days, for months. It has been a stable source of comfort for me. When I turn the radio on, music is always there to greet me.

How I Listen to Music

I have a Spotify subscription. I listen to music through Spotify every day. My genre of choice is indie and I like to throw some country in the mix every now and again. I love Spotify’s hand-curated playlists for indie music. They have exposed me to types of indie music that I probably would not have found myself.

Spotify is good when I am exercising because it is all music, all the time. I can easily skip a song. I do not skip songs often but when I am exercising I do it more regularly. There are some songs that just do not have a good beat. I was listening to a song yesterday that was talking about slowing down. That’s not exercise music. I listened to it until the end because it was a good song but I could have skipped it, like I did one or two others in that session.

Spotify is no replacement for the radio. I listen to the radio almost every day at around 1pm. I put it on for ten or twenty minutes depending on what work I have to do. The more tasks I have on my to-do list, the shorter the time I will spend listening to the radio.

I do not listen to the radio just for the music. I listen to the radio for everything else it offers too: the commentary, the presenters, and the news.

Why I Like Radio

I listen to internet radio. My local station is part of a national syndicate and all their shows are available online. It’s as easy as opening up a bookmarked tab to start listening to the radio. It is not ease of use that is behind why I listen to radio. There’s more to it than that.

The presenters on my local radio station have become what I would call friends. Friends who I have never met or seen but nonetheless they are friends. The presenters are the type of people who I would go out for coffee with and listen to for hours on end. Their voices are soothing. Their stories are funny.

The radio is about more than the music. It’s about the chemistry between the music and the presenters. The presenters on my local station share their thoughts about upcoming songs. They tell me which ones they like the best and which ones are new. It’s their job to get the audience hyped up and they do it well.

The News

I do not read the news. I believe that if something is important enough it will flow to me. There’s just too much noise out there for me to pay attention to the news. My local station is the only place where I get the news. Their news blasts last for two or maybe three minutes every hour. I only listen to one per day.

My local radio station has been my primary source for news outside of my family throughout this crisis. They have guided me on government restrictions and the ease of restrictions. Today I found out about a horrific incident that has occured in my region that will probably be talked about over coffee tables for days even though it happened a little bit away from where I live.

The radio station tells me what I need to know and leaves out what I don’t. I like it that way.

The Community

Listening to the radio has become a community activity. I’ve had many a conversation with my family over the last few months about what I have heard on the radio. We listen to the same radio station – our local one – and so it’s common that we have heard the same news or songs on any particular day.

Even though I only listen to the radio for a few minutes every day, I feel like part of a community by tuning in. I feel a bit more like a local resident of my town and my region. When I hear people from nearby towns winning the competitions on the radio, it exposes me to a new world. I may never have heard about those people if I had not switched on the radio.

The radio connects me with the news that I may not otherwise here. The radio lets me hear songs that I would not otherwise listen to (i.e. music that is not indie or country). The radio gives me something to say on days where I am stuck for conversation. As much as I love Spotify, the radio has served me so well that I’m going to keep listening. I have taken a few days off from the radio because I am busy but I’ll be back. I’m going to turn it on now for an afternoon tune.

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