It was in about 2007, the era of Myspace, that I first realised we had a problem.
“Get off this MyFace and iTune business,” my mum yelled at me one night. “It’s wasting gigbyte memory…” she said before trailing off, mostly because she realised both of us were painfully aware that she had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.
And then there was the gif… incident. I showed her a giphy on Facebook I thought was particularly funny and she kept saying, “Wait, no. Stop. Start at the beginning. Why does it keep… no. Just START AT THE BEGINNING.”
We didn’t speak for the rest of the day. And she will undoubtedly be re-traumatised by that fact I brought it up again just now.
Now, to be clear, my mother is one of the smartest people I know. But every time I answer a phone call about “How do I watch Top of the Lake on the SBS?” a small part of me dies.
Here’s a helpful explainer on how to listen to podcasts. Post continues…
On top of being very intelligent, my mum is ridiculously supportive.
She reads everything I write. She drops off dinner sometimes and laughs that she’s ‘Just like Uber Eats‘. And every single week, without fail, she listens to the podcast I co-host.
Until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how exactly my mum, who has an android that may as well be set to Spanish, was listening to all these podcasts.
And then I walked in on her one day.
She was doing the housework, and had her laptop half open. I saw that an Omny link of Mamamia Out Loud was paused on her screen.
“Mum…?” I asked, unable to keep the terror from my voice.
“Why is this… paused on your computer?”
She responded, proudly, “I sit there and listen to it!”
My mum was watching my podcast.
The screen doesn’t… move. It’s just a photo. It’s intended to be listened to WHILE she’s doing the housework. Not on either side of it.
MUM, DO NOT SIT AND WATCH THIS…
I soon learned that my dad, a man who has had enough training with technology that he should know better, was doing the same thing. Probably because he was copying Mum.
Is it… cute? Oh goodness yes. Does it represent the lengths parents will go to to support their children? Certainly. Did my parents believe that there were people all over the world, sitting in their homes, watching 14 hours of Serial on their computer screen that wasn’t moving? I suppose so.
Since, I’ve bought mum a speaker, which connects to her laptop. She didn’t understand the bluetooth obviously so we set it up for her before yelling “NOW DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING…” So far so good.
She has no idea how to listen to a podcast in the car or on her phone, but that’s okay. Small steps.
So Mum, and to all the parents out there being brutally shamed by their entitled children who think they know far more about the world than they actually do – here is a very handy manual.
1. Do I have a smart phone?
Oi, Mum. As Monique Bowley pointed out, you can’t listen to a podcast on the home phone. Or on your Nokia. You need one with… Internet.
2. Download a podcast app.
If you have an iPhone, then you should already have a ‘Podcast’ app. Mum – stop yelling – you have an android. I’m getting to you.
If you have an android, then download a podcast app. The best one is obviously the Mamamia Podcast App which has all the shows in our network. But if you want to listen to something outside our network (eg. The Teacher’s Pet) then download Radio Public or something of the like. It’s free. Yes, Mum, I’ll do it for you. Stop interrupting.
3. Search for the podcast you want, and press play.
There’s a search bar. Type in the show you want, and tap ‘Subscribe’. That means you will automatically get an episode every time it drops. And then, press the play button. Yes, Mum, that’s the side on triangle.
4. Oh. And you need headphones or a speaker.
Unless you want to be that… guy… on public transport.
There is one rule and one rule only: Don’t watch podcasts on your laptop. Please. Life is far too short.