Do you know the broken windows theory? Two social scientists found that if you have a neighborhood with one broken window, the whole neighborhood starts going downhill. You have to take care of little stuff to keep the big stuff on track. 

I have also seen that this applies to my body. If I get a good haircut or if I get Botox then I’m much more likely to eat well and exercise because I think there’s hope. So I was thinking it would apply to this theory to my website as well. I noticed that there are a few technical problems, so I was looking at other sites to see how they handle the problem.

I went to parenting.com and I got sidetracked by this headline:

11 Podcasts your kids should be listening to

The podcasts in that post are incredibly stupid, which got me thinking, that my kids don’t listen to podcasts. So I did some research.

Kids use YouTube as their search engine and therefore they get all their content from videos, not podcasts. Apple seems thrilled that podcast listeners are mostly adults because (Apple?) paid Nielsen to tell us how much orange juice listeners buy, and how much more cereal a podcast listener will buy after listening to an ad on a podcast.

I’m dissecting the parenting.com article to tell you how easy it is to get advice that is irrelevant. That article is prominent on the website which means parents love the topic.

It’s so easy to receive advice that doesn’t rock the boat: Parents like podcasts so kids should like podcasts so lists of good podcasts for kids is good. It’s much more difficult to hear kids like youtube and the most popular pundits swear and blow things up on video, and no one who writes parenting advice has any idea what the best YouTubers are for teens.

That’s how it should be. Your kids are really dull if they are doing all the stuff you like to do. So the 11 podcasts your kids should be listening to are none.

But here’s a list you need. I got it from a video I overhead my kids listening to.

5 games to play if you are not a douche:

Dota 2 

League of Legends

CS-Go

World of Warcraft 

Call of Duty 

To say that videos is NSW is an understatement, but parents should know the list, because kids who play those analytic, strategic, team-oriented games do better in college than kids who don’t. This is interesting to me, because until now, the data showed playing video games leads to more success in adult life. But a new study from the University of Zurich shows specifically that homework is such a waste of time, that the kids who are most likely to fall behind are those whose parents put stringent limits on after-school gaming because of homework.

This is why, when our hotel in Princeton didn’t have a good internet connection, and it was too late at night for Panera, I let my son set up his computer in the vestibule of the church at Princeton’s University. But I guess a gamer in a Church is like a broken window in Detroit, because campus police kicked us out pretty fast.

7 replies
  1. INTJ Professor
    INTJ Professor says:

    Just one of the reasons I read Penelope. Sentences like this: “But I guess a gamer in a Church is like a broken window in Detroit, because campus police kicked us out pretty fast.”

    Oh, yes.

  2. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    Why do kids use YouTube as their search engine? Is it because they prefer video content over podcast content? And what about text content? Don’t each of these content types have certain advantages over the other? Isn’t it also dependent upon the learner’s preference whether they’re kids or adults? I have best been served by being able to search and use all forms of content. The content may be in any of the above formats. The “trick” is to gain some knowledge and learn the vocabulary about the subject so as to be able to use the best keywords for the search. It’s a process that requires persistence to achieve steady progress and improvement. Many times the content type that has the most useful information has already been determined by the “experts” that have published. All of this commentary is to say – it’s not necessarily about you and your preferred content type. There are times it will be necessary to adapt and become proficient at other content types. As an example, I recently had to find and learn to use an FTP search client on the web to find some old files. Many years ago I used a separate FTP application. I did a quick search and found the existence of podcast search engines and directories. I would use one of those specialized search engines if I wasn’t successful with a web search engine. As for an article like “11 podcasts your kids should be listening to”, a better article would be “how to search for podcasts” so kids can determine for themselves if they want to listen to podcasts and which ones.

  3. YesMyKidsAreSocialized
    YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

    I only listen to a podcast when I’m forced to. For example, I follow a few blogs and once a month this blogger does a podcast and doesn’t write out the transcript. But I really want to know what the main points of the conversation were so I begrudgingly listen to the podcast. But because it’s difficult for me to process information that way I have to listen to it a few times. Then with three loud, intense kids one of which who wears her roller skates through the house while singing loudly makes it difficult for me to do anything where I need to concentrate.

    I think my kids would prefer a Vlog over a podcast. And even then Youtube is preferable over anything else.

  4. Leonie
    Leonie says:

    This post made me smile.

    I love podcasts and I was really curious to see which ones you liked for kids. And, I have to say I was not disappointed! Thanks for the insightful post.

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