Back in the olden days, the word hobby used to mean sewing, fishing, collecting rocks, and other things not every other person in the world did. But nowadays, ask anyone how they spend their spare time, and "hanging out," "exploring the city," or "drinking" is bound to come up. How has our society undergone such a change? I blame online dating. Scroll through a few profiles on OkCupid, Tinder, or any other app, and you'll find at least someone touting hobbies that aren't actual hobbies. Some of these are simply things that everyone does, whereas others like "people watching" and "surfing the Web" just sound pretty creepy.
In fact, OkCupid lets you search for users interested in pastimes like "hanging out" and "listening to music" so that fellow music listeners, city explorers, and hangers-out can find others who dare to pursue these hobbies as well. And Hinge has users add tags to their profiles including "country clubber," "after partier," and "lawn game champion." There's a title out there for everyone now, isn't there?
Who needs painting, marathon running, or ice hockey when you can embark on the following adventures?
1. Hanging Out
I totally see the appeal of hanging out. It can be done nearly anywhere and doesn't require any special equipment. Just be sure to keep your phone with you in case you hang out too hard and require medical assistance.
2. Listening To Music
Those with this hobby get to show everyone how artsy and intellectual they are by sitting down and putting on some tunes. I'd recommend doing this in a room with a fan or air-conditioning in case your rocking-out gets vigorous.
3. Surfing The Web / Browsing The Net
Thankfully, these phrases have mostly died out since the '90s. When people use them today, I assume they're just looking at porn.
4. Exploring The City
Instead of long walks on the beach, people now undergo extensive city explorations. But unless they're urban photographers or anthropologists, this usually means they're just checking out a few local bars every weekend.
Exploring the world or the woods, on the other hand, can count as a hobby, I suppose.
5. Watching Netflix
People used to keep up with specific shows, but now "Netflix" is a catch-all for every show available using the streaming service, and if you're a living, breathing human, it's pretty much implied you watch (and love) Netflix.
6. Playing With Your Dog/Cat/Guinea Pig/Tarantula/Pet Rock
Really, though, how much can you actually do with your pet? I'm sure your dog is cute and everything, but are you really out playing catch on a daily basis? And if your pet is too small to safely interact with a human being, I'm sorry but I don't believe you. Refreshing the wood chips in your gerbil's cage doesn't count as "playing."
7. People Watching
Are you a stalker? Are you an undercover cop? Then why are you spending your time "watching" complete strangers? That's what reality TV is for. Also, what makes you "really good at" looking at people? Really, I want to know how to do it.
When drinking is your number-one hobby, that's not having a hobby; that's drinking too much.
Unless, of course, you're a connoisseur of "craft" drinks. Then you're just sophisticated.
9. Going To The Gym
If you seriously find the act of placing one foot in front of the other on a conveyor belt or picking up progressively larger objects interesting, I suspect that you're not even human. You're more likely another machine provided by your gym.
10. Going Out
The great thing about "going out" is that it can mean clubbing, bar hopping, karaoke, aimlessly wondering the streets, attending a meetup, or literally anything that happens at night.
Thankfully, there's always going out, drinking, listening music, playing with our pets, and surfing the Web to lift our spirits.
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Images: Eugenio Marongiu/Fotolia; Suzannah Weiss/OKCupid; Suzannah Weiss/Tinder