When they’re not slaving away for 50 or 60 hours per week, trying to make ends meet, most people take part in some kind of hobby. The list of potential hobbies is endless and so it’s quite surprising how unimaginative people can be when it comes to choosing their own hobbies.
By far the most popular hobby in the US and many developed countries is watching TV. It’s probably the easiest hobby, too, apart from listening to music. It doesn’t involve too much strain on the eyes, as reading can, and it usually doesn’t challenge us intellectually too much. We can switch our brains off when we watch TV. We don’t have to put in any physical effort, except to keep one finger near the remote to control the channel and volume. On a none-work day, people can spend hours of their lives staring at the black box.
There are TV productions which are undoubtedly worth watching numerous times over. Documentaries can open up hidden worlds such as space and the depths of the sea and bring them into our living rooms. TV programs can explain complicated concepts in a simple manner. We can see for ourselves a particular view of what is going on in the world and what has happened in the past. Sitcoms, dramas and movies are, on occasion, very well written and produced and function both as light entertainment and serious mental stimuli.
Of course, we all know that the great shows and programs are shown once in a blue moon, and what we actually invite into our homes every day when we switch on the box, are advertisers for products we don’t need and which are bad for us, spin on government and corporate policies, slow-burning propaganda which encourages us to keep on consuming and think as little as possible. And for the most part it’s done through sex, innuendo and graphic violence. Seemingly innocuous shows such as watching the NFL involves you ponying up hundreds of dollars to sit through 40% sporting action and 60% being sold stuff you don’t need. Watching the latest movie usually involves watching the depiction of a dozen or more deaths, sexual promiscuity and worshiping people who seem to have a life of luxury but never do any work.
So, switch off your TV and wake up. Better still, take it apart, figure out how it works and then rebuild it. That’s how a TV can make for a great hobby. Find something which can help you interact with other people, something you can learn together. Join a chess club, learn about different styles and strategies, make some friends. Take up squash after work. Better still, don’t take up squash – be more imaginative and try something like fencing instead. You’ll get just as much exercise and have the opportunity to learn new techniques and master different weapons, in addition to the adrenaline rush from having someone charge straight at you with a blade. Release the pent-up angst from all that passive-aggressive behavior you endure at work. Visualize your opponent as your boss and orchestrate their downfall with the tip of your sword.
If something like technology, aviation or photography excites you more, then combine all three by getting yourself a drone. Learn about which kind of drone you want from RotorCopters. Imagine the possibilities that owning and being able to fly a drone opens up to you. You could get involved in aerial photography, drone racing or engineering.
Or you could let your hobby take you further afield. Taking up a new sport or learning something new can do that. It’s easy to see how learning how to scuba dive can lead to you diving in the crystal clear seas off of some beautiful Pacific island, but did you consider that studying Japanese could lead to you conquering Mount Fuji or getting married in Okinawa? Did you consider that showing an interest in archaeology could make you wind up in the cradle of civilization, handling artefacts that have been hidden from human eyes for thousands of years?
Life is too short to spend the little free time we get sitting on the couch, becoming TV-addicted zombies. Get out there and live your life, you won’t get another one.