By Walter Steinwald. (Originally written Jan, 2019.)
I wrote this because I was curious to know about hobbies in general, but failed to find anything helpful in defining the term or discussing the affects.
I marvel at my kids pretty often and in one of these reveries I saw their avid hobby practice. They each own multiple hobbies and practice them to ever increasing depths. As they mature, the tools and materials needed in practicing these hobbies increase in complexity and rarity. This got me thinking of the state of hobbies and the nature of hobbies overall. Loose parts are difficult, comprehensive boxed single use goodies are on the rise and hobby sections in major stores are reduced or removed altogether. Most of our hobby materials must be got from online. Seeing the benefits my two receive from hobbies, I wanted to just map out what a hobby is before speculating on the demise or not. Some of the edges I found while running my mind over it were pretty enriching and a little startling.
A Definition of Hobby
What are hobbies? Are hobbies good for kids? What about electronic media as a hobby? These were some of the loose questions I had and here are some of the loose answers I found.
Firstly, I need to separate hobby from leisure and play. The end aim of play is fun, just fun. When play is not fun, we stop. Leisure is not fun necessarily, but is similar to play inasmuch as it has no specific aim or preparation. Play is a rope swing, pickup ball game or wrestling on the living room floor. Leisure is a front porch book reading, a cocktail party or fishing along a stream. Hobbies are unlike either play or leisure in the following number of ways.