A British study found that listening to the radio boosted happiness and energy levels, more so than television or surfing the Internet.
Watching television and web surfing also increased people's moods, but not nearly as much as listening to the radio.
So listen to me. It's good for you!
But seriously, have you noticed that all the negative media consumption research you read about almost ALWAYS blames television for our ills? From violence to pornography to laziness to obesity--when does anyone blame the RADIO??
The television was dubbed the BOOB TUBE. It's obvious why that is. And yet no derogatory or disparaging term is universally used for our radios.
No study I have seen warns parents of the countless hours in front of a radio, right? Or that radio saps the imagination or makes you lazy.
Old radio shows used to fuel the imagination, not SAP it like most modern media outlets. Families huddled around it and enjoyed music and magic and memories.
When you want to feel happy instantly, which do you prefer to do? Flip through 500 stations of oblivion or push your favorite pre-set? It's a rhetorical question.
Many people write me or post on the social media outlets we share that they find great happiness in listening to my show and others like it.
The reason is obvious to me--they have found someone that makes them not feel so alone in this crazy world.
You scan the dial and stop--hopefully on my show--and are blown away that someone is saying exactly what you are thinking and feeling the most passionately about!
It's the ultimate compliment that I get. And it makes ME happy, too.
I've always observed that talk radio is a very personal adventure that is set up around very alienating circumstances and environments.
Think about it. I am sitting alone in a booth. Speaking into a microphone and connected to your voice by headphones. I can't see you and up until the advent of studio cams, you couldn't see me. We are literal strangers to each other, although the listener has the advantage of knowing much more about the host than the other way around.
Being a radio host is like being an entertainer (let's say, a comedian) on a stage at a comedy club. Only thing, the audience is off in another part of the club, far removed and insulated from the host. The host gets up on the stage (speaks into the mic) and has NO CLUE how people are reacting.
Imagine being a comedian but not knowing if the audience is booing you or loving you. You have no idea what momentum you are moving into the next bit with. Maybe they are eating it up. Maybe they have all walked out of the club.
That's the tough part. But what makes it all worth while are the countless calls and e-mails and posts and public and private messages which reaffirm what this study has found. That radio can boost your happiness and energy more than other media.
And I can promise you without any doubt that these happiness and energy levels are to be found on the other side of the radio as well. In that lonely little radio booth where the voice or entertainment or news originates.
You are NOT alone. And neither am I.
And that should make us both smile with reassurance.