Get Off Your Phone! (Long-Form Digital Media Recommendations)

Did you know that being a U of T student means having access to a bunch of entertaining and enriching activities that you can all do from the comfort of your own home? I've compiled a short list of podcasts, documentaries, and other forms of digital media that every student should take advantage of.


I love listening to podcasts while I'm multitasking—usually when I'm commuting, doing chores, or during my morning routine.

Podcast / The Ezra Klein Show / New York Times Opinion

The Ezra Klein Show is a podcast produced by the New York Times that features select stories covering current events, such as global affairs, artificial intelligence, and environmentalism.

Podcast / Stuff You Should Know / iHeartPodcasts

Stuff You Should Know is a podcast featuring exactly that—each episode explores one fascinating topic across science, history, and culture, such as the Pulitzer Prize, Boba Tea, or the periodic table. The podcast does a really great job at introducing new concepts in a really accessible manner, which is why I always enjoy listening to their episodes that deal with topics I am completely unfamiliar with.

Podcast / Very Really Good / Kurtis Conner

Finally, Very Really Good is a hilarious podcast hosted by Toronto's very own, Kurtis Conner! In this podcast, Kurtis talks about current pop culture trends. I always find his perspective entertaining as he usually discusses shows, movies, and TikToks I am previously familiar with.

All these podcasts can be listened to on Spotify! And if you're a student, you can take advantage of Spotify's discounted subscription plan. For just $5.99 per month, you get access to Spotify Premium, which includes ad-free music and offline listening. It’s a fantastic deal that makes enjoying podcasts and music even more accessible.


Did you know that as a U of T student you get access to a large selection of documentaries and independent films on Kanopy? All you have to do is log on here at with your U of T credentials.

Here are some of my favourite documentaries that I have watched through Kanopy:

Motherland: An Intimate Look at the World's Busiest Maternity Hospital

Bayang Ina Mo ("Motherland")

This documentary introduces the viewer to the planet's busiest maternity hospital in the Philippines.

Paris is Burning / A film by Jennie Livingston

Paris is Burning

This documentary served as the inspiration for Emmy-award winning show Pose. Set in the mid-to-late 1980s, this film explores the New York ballroom culture and the communities involved in it.

Video Essays

There are plenty of educational video essays easily accessible through YouTube! Here are some of my favourites:

Which Sims Game Has the Toughest Economy?

Screenshot of The Sims

This video breaks down each of the Sims games cost of living, wages, and other economic factors to discuss which game is most realistic and which one is most difficult! As someone who loves both the Sims and economic policy, I found this video to be such an entertaining exploration of such a niche subject.

Advice for time traveling to medieval Europe

Screenshot of medieval artwork

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel to medieval Europe? This video has all the answers for you! Broken down into travel-guide-esque fashion, topics such as where to sleep, where to eat, and where to shop are all discussed! This video was an incredibly educational look at medieval Europe that still managed to keep me intrigued all the way through.

The Island of WITCHES

The word "Iceland" with a hooded skeleton

In 41 minutes, this engaging and wonderfully edited video deals with the topic of Icelandic witches. As someone who knows very little about Icelandic history or witchcraft, I found this video to be accessible and informative! I found it rather fascinating that the Icelandic witches were predominantly men, as opposed to other traditions where witches were typically women.

I hope these videos inspire you to consume other forms of digital media that take advantage of all the resources available to you as a U of T student.  From captivating podcasts and thought-provoking documentaries to engaging video essays, countless alternatives to scrolling through social media can enhance your life and well being. So next time you reach for your phone, consider putting on one of these videos or podcasts instead!

– Selina