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How technology impacts our daily lives is focus of new podcast from WKAR

Prabu David at microphone in studio
Dan Hartley
Prabu David, host of 'Life, Meet Tech'

WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University has launched Life, Meet Tech, a new weekly podcast exploring the ways in which our daily lives intersect with technology, and the impact technology has on us.

How does technology help us live our best life, and how does it hold us back? How can we harness the power of tech for good, and how does it hurt us? Life, Meet Tech explores these questions and more! The podcast is hosted by social scientist and technology enthusiast Prabu David, who is dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University.

Each episode features lively and provocative conversations with an array of notable experts, authors, journalists, and industry leaders on all things tech life. MSU alumna Melanie Paul is executive producer of Life, Meet Tech.

David and Paul talk about how they connected to work on this project and about how the pandemic hastened the development of the podcast.

“I was a little nervous about the subject,” admits Paul. “Honestly, I'm not a technical person. I'm a storyteller. When technology in my household breaks, I turn it off, I turn it back on, I unplug it, I plug it back in and that's usually the extent of it. I was a little hesitant to dive into something where I'm not an expert, but Prabu said, ‘no, no, no, we're going to make this super relatable and interesting, and it's going to be great.’ And he started talking about these ideas and themes that were fascinating. And I have to say, that's my favorite part of the podcast. It takes these very top-line sort of big ideas and makes them relatable and informative and entertaining.”

Portrait: Melanie Paul
Melanie Paul, executive producer of 'Life, Meet Tech'

What is it about the podcast medium you like for getting your message out?

“I personally consume a lot of podcasts,” continues Paul. “I love them! In fact, during the pandemic, I would have to say that podcasts were sort of companions in a way. You can turn them on anywhere. You can take them with you. You can have them playing in the background while you do other things. It's one of my favorite ways to consume media. Podcasts are so accessible and portable, and you can listen to them anywhere. You can take them anywhere. They're convenient. There's no destination viewing with a podcast. That's what makes the podcast medium so cool!”

“What I find most attractive about a podcast personally is that I love a good story,” says David. “I genuinely love to listen to people if you have the right people with the right insights on important topics like the intersection of technology and life. Every aspect of life is driven by technology these days. And we need to find ways in which we can make sense of it. Some of it is good. Some of it is neutral. And some of it is bad. We need to be savvy, aware customers who can make a difference.”

“I hope the audience finds each episode as entertaining as it is informative,” Paul adds. “I think we've really carefully curated some outstanding guests who are experts in these topics. And it's so relatable. We want the convenience that technology provides, but it comes at a cost. And that cost sometimes is our information and our data. So, I hope that listeners walk away thinking about this with some more practical understanding on how our day to day life interacts with technology. And what we need to be aware of. And I also hope they're entertained. We've got some really lively speakers and guests who join us on the show.”

“I want people to be entertained because technology is fun and all of us love technology,” David adds. “I want them to be informed and to understand what is going on but also to be critical and thoughtful about how we consume technology.

Prabu David.jpg
Russ White | MSU Today
Prabu David

“There are so many benefits from it but lurking in every one of these junctions where life and technology intersect are interesting dilemmas that we should sort out as a society. You cannot take it for granted. We have a role to play. It's our data. It's our lives that are intersecting with technology. We have to coexist with technology and find the right balance for how we and robots and other kinds of technologies co-exist. That is fascinating to me.”

“I hope that the podcast makes people think,” says Paul. “I hope it's thought provoking. Because for me personally working on the project, that was something that happened every single interview and every single episode we were working on. I would walk away from it be thinking about these topics and in a way that I'd never really considered before. And that, I think, is really exciting because a podcast that not only entertains you and informs you but also gets you thinking about things will keep you coming back for more. And I hope that the audience does.”

Episodes of Life, Meet Tech publish weekly on Wednesdays through December 1st. The podcast can be found wherever you get your shows. And at WKAR.org. Life, Meet Tech is a co-production of WKAR Public Media, and the College of Communication, Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University.

MSU Today airs Sunday mornings at 9:00 on 105.1 FM and AM 870 and streams at WKAR.org. Find, rate, and subscribe to “MSU Today with Russ White” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.