Hobbies, Disconnection, and Cyberspace
An important facet of escaping the pornography trap is reestablishing the connection between the user and his/her physical life and environment. The more time a person spends in cyberspace, the less of a connection they have with the real world.
If you ask most young people today if they have any hobbies, you will receive one of four answers:
Number one is “No.” Number two is “What do you mean?” Number three is “Yeah. I play video games/watch TV/watch movies.” And number four is “Yeah” and then they may actually cite a hobby. The fourth is the least common.
Dan Scotti, lifestyle writer at the website Elite Daily, and a Millennial, in November of 2015, wrote a perceptive piece on the matter titled, “Why Don’t Millennials Have Hobbies Anymore?”
“None of my friends have hobbies,” Scotti wrote. And he was honest enough to include himself in this assessment:
“With a pair of iPhone speakers and a Netflix subscription, I rarely feel as though I’m missing out on anything. . . . It’s as if modern technology has fooled me into thinking my life is very fulfilling. I mean, I have social media accounts to uphold, television series to chain watch and a whole bunch of dating profiles to swipe through — so, what time do I even have for hobbies?”
He concludes: “The fact that hobbies may be a thing of the past is an eerie thought. I can’t honestly say that I see hobbies such as ‘carpentry’ making a comeback at any time in the near future. . . . As sad as it may seem to older generations, we genuinely have an interest in Instagram, Twitter and other products of the digital age.”
There is a world of difference between being active and being passive, between creating something and watching something, between doing something and being entertained.
Parents need to cultivate hobbies or, if you will, passions in their child. The only passion most middle-class and upper-class parents cultivate in their children is getting good grades so that they can get into a prestigious college. But that is misguided. If the most important passion you cultivate in your child is getting good grades, what will your child’s most important passion be after leaving school — in other words, for the next 70 years of his or her life?
How can parents cultivate interests, hobbies, and passions in their child? Most importantly, they can limit time spent in front of a screen. And the earlier in life the better. Then the child has to figure out what to do with the time he or she would have spent in front of the screen.
Instead of doing homework or watching television, I also started reading — newspapers, serious magazines, and books — which has remained a lifelong passion. I might add that among my peers who spent their non-leisure time studying for tests and doing homework, not many ended up loving reading. Why? Because they read solely for school and grades rather than for the love of learning.
Parents need to ask themselves if this troubles them. And if it does, decide to do something about it — by first asking themselves what they really want for their child.