Hobbies..a dying past-time?

Publish Date:Jun 20, 2013

 ...... Veena Shyam Raja


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In this modern day super-fast gadget driven techno world , the present generation hardly seems to be finding time for something as ‘mundane’ as pursuing a hobby. Usually an activity which makes the person feels good, hobbyists engage in hobbies purely out of interest. It is generally for the emotional returns that are valued rather than financial reward that people choose their favourite pastime. An activity chosen as hobby is very dear to one's heart, doing which the hobbyist derives immense satisfaction. Off late I have been noticing a strange trend emerge especially in the ‘women oriented’ television programmes that is aired every afternoon. When asked about their hobbies, most women seem to agree on the same thing, watching television! Music, Dance, Painting, Collecting Curios, Knitting, Embroidery….. All those “once upon a time favourite hobbies” seem to disappeared into thin air! Startling facts revealed!

A recent study shows that hobbies like stamp collecting, model making, having ‘pen friends’ etc. are dying out. It has been found that traditional pastimes and games that once used to engage the young and old alike for hours together are now considered “boring” and “ancient”.

Researchers examined the changing face of pastimes typically enjoyed by teenagers 30 or more years ago compared to modern day teens. They found the likes of rambling, bird watching and stamp, shells, coin collecting are all but dead and buried.  Other hobbies which modern kids turn their noses up these days include collecting marbles, completing jigsaws, reading story books. Ask any child and about their favourite hobby these days and pat comes the reply, “watching television”, “playing videogames”, “hanging out with friends on social network sites” ,”facebooking”.  It is disheartening to know the even adults, pursue similar pastimes these days!  Well, that is one virtual reality that needs to be accepted, I guess. Who has the time for such pleasures!!

What the big deal about hobbies anyway?

They, on surface, might seem like a rather trite and trivial thing – something one does to prevent boredom from creeping in and overtaking the senses. However, upon closer inspection, hobbies prove to be wonderful activities that not only occupy our free time, but also help us considerably reduce stress, build community, foster relationships, educate large numbers of people and enhance culture in rewarding and unexpected ways. A hobby is an activity we enjoy to do, it is something of our choosing, something unique to our taste and talent. A hobby can enhance our well-being and can give more meaning to our life.

 Benefits of nurturing a hobby

The human mind is one of the most awe-inspiring of creations – a sophisticated machine that operates within the human body and plays a major role in controlling our actions, thoughts and temperaments. Just as a machine needs oil, gas and electricity to function, the mind needs its share of stimulation to operate and produce results. Man is indeed a social animal and thrives in the company of like-minded people. This is still evident from the fact that the modern day ‘lonely single child’ seeks the company of hundreds of virtual like-minded friends and thrives in their company. He “shares”, “likes” and expects the same from others.  It is generally seen that an idle person tends to dwell in sadness and acquires a negative approach of life. Such people can benefit tremendously by cultivating a hobby, though a hobby is, quite simply, the best prescription to active minds for scaling greater heights.


Beat the blues: Hobby is great cure for relieving stress too! Whatever our career or field might be, it’s so important to stretch outside of that area and pursue unrelated interests. It expands our range of life experiences, our networking and social circles, and gives us something interesting to talk about that isn’t work-related.  It is a distinct way to get away from the otherwise monotonous everyday regimen. Best for elders: Hobbies are a wonderful way to pass time especially for retired seniors with ample leisure time. Great amount of research on the subject suggests reading, playing cards, board games, knitting and cracking crossword puzzles contribute to prevent or minimize memory loss associated with the process of ageing. By engaging in a cognitive exercise, one can feel guarded against the onset of dementia and the Alzheimer's disease. The benefit of sharing a hobby with their grandchildren of course, needless to say, is priceless!

Connecting with oneself

Perhaps one of the best active ways to get in touch with ourselves is to explore ourselves through a hobby. It does not really matter what our hobby is; as long as it is our own. It is the private time we have with ourselves. Interestingly, when we have a hobby, we will strive to create time for ourselves and manage our schedule well to keep those appointments.

As an alternative career option

Though not really a priority but, many people have made a flourishing career out of their hobby. What can be more rewarding and enjoyable than the fact that our career and work is also the source of our unwinding and relaxation! When we take up a hobby or pursue the one we have with a sense of purpose, we can think of adding value to ourselves.  Some great business careers have emerged from a simple pastime!
To foster Friendship

Though it is not the day and age of making pen friends anymore but hobbyists have often found great pleasure and meeting with and sharing their interests with people of similar tastes. A tech-savvy hobbyist may even consider creating blogs and participate in forums or clubs that connect other hobbyists. One’s hobby can become a networking tool that opens a new avenue to build friendship.  Gifting your hand made article increases it value multifold!

Discover and  Re-discover those hidden Talents

So, the next time your child comes home with a project, don’t be upset with the school or his teachers.  Your attitude towards your child’s work might just pave way for a great discovery and at the same time create a greater bond. Also, in the process, you might just surprise yourself with the creativity you never knew existed in you!

 Go ahead….. Indulge in your favourite hobby, relax, enjoy and marvel at your own creativity.