The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Requiem for the Radio


Remember the good ol’ days when we would get buckled into the booster seat of our parents’ car and excitedly listen to Z100 or 102.7 KIIS-FM? Well, I personally remember those days, but I fear they are over. 

Since 2018, there has been a steady decline in radio listenership. In 2018, 89% of Americans listened to the radio; by 2022, only 82% listened, according to Pew Research. Although this does not seem like a drastic difference, radio listeners are further declining. 

As I reflect, my mind is clouded with millions of little reasons why radio culture is dead, but the one that sticks out to me is Apple CarPlay. The iPhone craze is real, and CarPlay makes it so we never have to go sans phone again. It allows phones to be displayed on the dashboard, notifications to be pushed, and, most importantly, personal music to be played in the car. 

CarPlay was first released in 2014 but was not installed into most cars until around 2017, according to Lifewire. Given this fact, it is safe to assume that the CarPlay boom has impacted the number of radio listeners. It is not just a coincidence that rates have decreased since 2018. 

“CarPlay has completely changed how we listen to music,” Yael Hortig (’26) said. “Nostalgically, it is sad that we abandoned the radio, but the convenience of CarPlay makes it a necessity. Getting to plug in my phone and shuffle music I like ensures that I will not have to skip around radio stations like we used to do.”

Undoubtedly, people love CarPlay for a good reason. However, the idea that CarPlay is slowly dominating the industry is sad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to listen to the radio; I enjoy picking my music. But when I think about the radio and CarPlay, my mind is brought to the older generations. As the older generations die, the radio will die with them. 

The radio does not just play musical hits; it delivers daily news for many. Or so it did. On the way to work, people would turn on their radios and listen to the local news. Now, all the younger generations, and even some older generations, depend on unreliable apps such as Instagram and TikTok for their news. 

“I rarely listen to the radio,” Parshav Jain (’26) said. “I like listening to my music, and when I listen to the radio, there are rarely songs I am excited by. The songs I listen to determine my mood, and when the radio plays bad songs, I get put in a bad mood.”

Music is a powerful tool. It can generate emotions. It can control emotions. Why would people want to listen to music that makes them feel annoyed or angry? They wouldn’t. Which is why getting to play your own tunes is so important. 

“I miss what the radio was,” Shelly Frank (’26) said. “I miss when I could turn on the radio and listen to songs I liked. Now, the same five songs play on repeat.”

Though the radio brings up happy memories from our childhood, it is time to let it go. The world of technology is evolving and radios must evolve with it. The radio is out, and CarPlay is in. R.I.P. radio: Gone, but never forgotten. 

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About the Contributor
Orli Rosenstein
Orli Rosenstein, Staff Writer
Orli Rosenstein ('26) is very excited to write for The Echo. She is interested in writing stories about student life, current events, and entertainment. She enjoys traveling, playing lacrosse, and listening to music.