Office and school closings have turned our households into work and study zones. Between the fear of exposure to the virus and the need to continue to work and learn, there is much need for both vetted information and a bit of respite through music, sports or other entertainment content. There is no other medium quite like audio to provide people with such companionship, while enabling work and study.
Why? Because that’s how we are wired. Ears are zoom lenses and noise cancellers at the same time. To hear and make sense of our world, we constantly zoom in to focus on particular sounds and filter the rest out.1 Overwhelmed by what to listen to and what to tune out? Here are a few ways audio can help you find some balance during these ever changing and trying times:
Put some music on: Whether doing something monotonous or one that requires deep thinking, music can help. Music can increase productivity while canceling out machine noises in the background. Another study shows that surgeon accuracy and efficiency improved when surgeons worked with music playing. Battling excel? No problem: Classical or rock music can help you identify numbers more quickly and accurately. Or, you just-need-a-break? Go to your favorite radio stations to alter your mood.
Stay connected to your sports tribe: Nothing will take away the connection established by fandom. While it may not be advisable to gather in large stadiums or play contact sports at this point in time, camradery around your sports team and its players is something that can and has lived on virtually prior to the crisis as well. A review of Entercom’s digital audience shows that 47% of digital sports fans were streaming their hometown teams’ games from other locations. So, roll that dial or tap that station and tune in to some of the best-of games and current discussions. Eagles Fans are all about NFL moves. Patriot fans have much to discuss now on Tom Brady’s recent announcement to leave. NBA fans are bringing up issues around compensating arena staff fairly while the games are cancelled without an exact return date.
Empower yourself with up-to-date news and information: Having access to reliable, local news is extremely important in times of crisis. Just from March 9th to 13th, there has been a sharp 42 percentage point increase in the incidence of people reporting they use radio more since the COVID-19 outbreak. Some 37% indicate they turn to radio to learn about Coronavirus cases in their immediate area.2 As authorities release new information, you can count on your radio station to be there for you.
Dive deep with podcasts: Whether to hear a science-based discussed on the viral outbreak or to switch your mind to other topics, podcasts offer one-on-one time with experts. For instance, Crooked Media’s Season 2 of America Dissected focuses on the virus outbreak. The first episode is already over 80,000 downloads. The Clearing, Up & Vanished and Pod Save America can also be great diversions during this time.
It can be unsettling to try to protect your and your loved ones’ health, come to terms with the unknown and continue with the daily responsibilities of work and study. During these difficult times when we need the support but need to keep physical distance, audio can be that steady voice and rhythm that connects us all.
1 Norman Doidge, M.D.; The Brain’s Way of Healing, 2015.
2Source: Nuvoodoo; March 9-13, 2020; n=11,665 P16-54