Service Alert

All library services will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th in observance of Juneteenth. Early voting will still be available at Riverfront Library and Will Library from 9am-5pm.

Podcast Review: Offline

Offline is a different kind of Sunday show-a chance to step away from our Twitter-fueled news cycles to hear smarter, lighter conversations about all the ways that our extremely online existence is shaping everything from politics and culture to the ways we live, work, and interact with one another. The host is John Favreau who worked as a speech writter for President Barack Obama and is a co-founder of Crooked Media. Favreau explores the pros and cons of social media and the Internet with a variety of guests. This is an interesting podcast that provides a balanced look at technology that we use on a daily basis.

In an episode titled “Should America Ban TikTok”, Favreau talks about TikTok with three guests. V Spehar, host of Under the Desk News on Tik Tok, talks about the community of listeners she has created on her account and how people get under the radar news from TikTok. Senator Mark Warner, author of the RESTRICT Act, and Graham Webster, Chinese technology expert, is concerned that the Chinese government could breach privacy on TikTok.  In the end, Favreau settles for a compromise where TikTok is used but the data from users is stored in the United States. Both sides make compelling arguments both in favor and against TikTok that are enlightening to people who want to learn more about the social media app. 

There is an interesting episode with author John Green titled John Green Doesn’t Think the World is End (Yet). Favreau interviews Green about his book The Anthropocene Reviewed. In the book, Green rates various things that we encounter and use on a daily basis such as the Internet. Green describes problems with it that includes shortening attention spans and manipulative computer algorithms. It has personally affected Green to an extent that he has difficulty focusing on writing. Green rates the Internet three out five stars for these reasons. Despite problems that we face, Green believes humanity’s altruism will prevent our doom. This is an interesting episode that will make you think about things that you use on a daily basis.

A dark but important episode to listent to is How the Internet is Radicalizing Young Men. Laura Bates, author of Men Who Hate Women, talks about the research she did about extreme misogynistic online groups. Bates describes the posts from these groups, which are hateful and violent. Members of these groups stalked and threatened Bates when her identity on their forums was discovered. The percentage of men who are sympathetic to these groups is alarming! 

Offline is an interesting and informative podcast. Favreau and his guests are enjoyable to listen to and they have a sense of humor. Those interested in learning about new technologies will enjoy this podcast.  

You can listen to Offline on their podcast website or apps such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

There are descriptions of violence in parts of Offline so it is recommended for mature audiences only. 


Michael Walsh

Adult Services-Will Library



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