Some people are very aware of having fallen into that sort of thing. You get the odd thread on the Red Scare sub and elsewhere lamenting the rise of "parasocial relationships" and how they spend more time with podcast hosts than their actual mates.Third, there is something weird going on at the affective level. Moreso than most podcasts part of the effect of listening to it is that it feels a bit like talking to your mates. It kind of replicates part of that feeling (obviously only one side of it). I think in general there is a kind of interesting strand to podcasts in general where it replaces some aspect of social interaction. I feel like the existence of podcasts, the transmission of ideas like through that form, has had a big effect on some of the more serious conversations that I've had with people over recent years. Actually sometimes it feels a bit more like people are reciting podcasts to one another on occasion.