Summer “Hobbies”

It was my final week working at the summer high school camp up the road from me. I was drained from the sun and the demands of the job. I took a mental break and sat down on a bench inside the school. Alexis, one of the camp students, took a seat beside me and started a conversation.

 

“So Angela, what do you do in your spare time?”

In a semi-automated way, I answered, “I like to play music in my free time”

 

But when I thought about it, since this summer job had begun, I really had not spent much time playing music. The job had long hours and occasional 7-day workweeks. Not to mention, working outdoors with that unique sass of teenagers took a lot out of me. It ended up temporarily changing my lifestyle.

 

“You seem like the type of person to watch Netflix all night, episode after episode” Alexis remarked.

“Not really. I usually like to cook but I haven’t been cooking much this summer” I replied.

“So what do you do?” Alexis asked.

 

I could not think of an honest answer to Alexis’ question. Since I was not playing music or cooking like a usually do, what was I doing with all of my time when I was not working?

I took a step back and thought about my after work routine. Usually, I would lie down on my bed and check Facebook, since there was no access to Facebook in the school. Twenty minutes of Facebook led to something more productive; checking my e-mails. Then, I would check Snapchat, and then Instagram. Hmm… somehow, it was already 7:30 and I was still lying down on my bed.

I realized that for the past 5 weeks, I have been fooling myself into thinking that I was doing “something” if I was busy checking my social media accounts. Sure, I had dinner dates or a night of drinks sprinkled in there somewhere, but the majority of my time after work was spent in my room on my phone or computer.

In retrospect, this made me feel as though I did not make the most of my time off. Being on social media for personal uses (rather than professional) is often seen in a negative light. It deems you antisocial, attached, and at times, self-absorbed. When I could have been exercising, trying new recipes, going to events in the city and experiencing my summer, I checked social media instead.

But on the other hand, what if keeping up to date with social media is now a hobby? Is that too far fetched? What if that is just a new component to our daily lives and there is nothing so sad about it? The content that I would digest on my Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat managed to keep me up to date with the news, my friends and family, I read shared articles on various topics, and of course watched videos as entertainment. Although I was only on one device, in one place for the evening, I was able to reach multiple layers of my life in that time after work.

———-

What do you think:

Does social media provide enough quality content to be considered a hobby?

When can social media be considered a hobby and when can it not be considered a hobby?

How does social media play a role in your free time off work?

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One thought on “Summer “Hobbies”

  1. I really think that’s a question you answer for yourself and have to be happy with how you classify it, not letting the opinion of others influence your usage too much.

    In my personal life, I use social media to keep up on what is going in the news, sports and my main areas of interest. I don’t watch the news on TV very often, read newspapers or pick up many magazines. I’ll tend to try and catch up on my feeds going to and from work while listening to music and I realize that I’ve made the choice to do this rather than spend that 20-30 minutes a day reading a book instead.

    That’s a trade off I’m willing to make (at least for now) and one I’m comfortable with. I’ve had people ask me why I don’t use that time to read or do something “productive”, but in talking with them more, well, I usually find out that they spend more time on social media while at work than their bosses probably realize.

    In the end, be happy with what you’re doing and find a balance that works for you. I’d be interested in knowing how you felt about the balance of your social media use vs time spent cooking or playing music. Are those taking a back seat because of social media or because your interest in them has started to wane? Depending on what you answer there could really change the nature of how you view your social media use.

    A lot of the questions you pose are tough to answer as the “quality” changes depending not only on what you use social media for, but who you follow, etc. I don’t think I’d classify my use as a hobby and may be hard pressed to really find a way to designate it as one, but I’m sure there are people out there who have found that niche.

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