Acceptable Hobbies

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by turgy22, May 30, 2008.

  1. turgy22 Nothing Special

    The other day, I was watching a football game I had recorded last season and taking notes (I like to be informed when I discuss football) when my wife came downstairs and gave me this disgusted look, as though I was doing something personally offensive to her. If I was just sitting around watching TV, she probably wouldn't have cared, but for some reason, rewatching a football game is unacceptable.

    It got me thinking, though. Why are some hobbies considered "normal" and others are not? Why are some considered better than others? Why should a person really care how another person spends their free time?

    As an example, in general, people consider reading a book to be better than watching television. But why? I understand the reasoning for kids, since reading comprehension is definitely an ability requiring practice and necessary to develop certain skills necessary to become a productive member of society. However, if a college-educated adult wants to spend 4 hours a day watching TV, how is this worse than reading a book for 4 hours a day. You can definitely learn more in less time. They can both cause eye strain. Neither one is particularly healthy, in regard to requiring physical activity. But reading is considered "good" while TV-watching is considered "bad."

    So I was wondering what other people thought on this. Assuming that any particular hobby won't be used for productive purposes in the future, why are some better than others? Are there other examples you can think of? I'm curious to know how other people feel about this subject.
  2. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    My personal feeling on the TV/reading subject is that, adult or child, reading forces you to use your mind. Reading fiction uses your imagination; non-fiction is more obviously brain-intensive. Television, however, allows you to sit there mindlessly, as it does all the imagination work for you. And honestly, I don't think I know anybody who plunks down in front of the TV for a 4 hour PBS marathon every night, so learning isn't so much of a goal with TV watching, in my personal experience.

    That all being said, I love sitting down and watching hockey/football/the occasional TV show (Lost, for instance). But I'm also an addictive reader, so I hope that offsets my "bad habits."
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I kinda disagree, as there are some shows that keep you engaged either making you think about the story or the characters or could make you laugh, meaning you're keeping up with the story and the context.

    As for hobbies in general, obviously any "geeky" activity belongs in this category. Magic, D&D, table-top gaming, even video gaming gets looked down by people who don't follow that hobby.
  4. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    I plunk down in front of the TV and watch PBS, History channel, Discovery, Food Network, etc... a little every night.... some nights for 3 hours and others for an hour or less...... so, I hope I'm learning something.... But I also read at least 1 book per week, sometimes rereading older ones....
    I think TV is only mindless if you zone out while watching or don't explore what you have watched..... I enjoy the show House and my daughter and I discuss the show and what we like or don't like about it (character development, story line that a consistent with characters), really analyze the show.

    I guess any hobby that you become too obsessed with is not good for you.... (Is it really important to take notes about a game from last season.... :D )

    No hobby is better than any other, they are supposed to be diversions into something you enjoy.
  5. Killer Joe Active Member

    My latest "unacceptable" hobby is weightlifting. I get rolly-eyes evertime I head for downstairs to lift. She actually is okay whenever I NOW am sitting in my cellar messing around with my Magic cards and/or D&D stuff.

    Go figure. :confused:

    I would think that acceptable hobbies are derived from ones own childhood experiences; such as Dad and the boys always watch football on Sundays in the Fall or men go golfing,....ALL-FRICKIN'- DAY, or men go to bars and drink (not go to GASP to play board/crad games all day).

    You watch those re-play games all you want and when she gives you that look you immediately switch the TV to the porn station!!!! :eek: :D
  6. Budget Player Cadet Where in the world is BPC

    Me, I just don't get why disguising my **** as a piece of lettuce and hiding it in other people's salads is looked down upon.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    KJ: What, your wife doesn't want to be all buff and manly? :D
  8. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I think this sums up the general bias toward reading and against television. Personally, I don't think all reading forces you to use your mind (Romance novels? Magazines?). There are plenty of television shows and movies that I've spent way more time thinking about than some books.

    Also - and this might be a little out there - is it really that necessary to use your mind? Is there a proven link that partaking in thoughtful hobbies helps you become more productive or a better worker? Personally, I find that when I have a thought provoking hobby (e.g. this message board) I spend entirely too much time thinking about it when I should be working (e.g. now). If I were participating in more mind-numbing hobbies, I'd probably get a lot more done at work. And isn't that the real goal of society? Just throwing that out there.

    Also, not all educational programs are necessarily good either. Last weekend, my wife an I spent a good three hours watching an Animal Planet show about the yearly migration of wildebeests. It was entertaining and I learned a fair amount about wildebeests, but did I really accomplish anything? What was the benefit there?

    Well that's not good. I tend to become obsessed with every new hobby I take up. (Top Deck, anyone?) To me, it is important to take notes on the games, otherwise I won't remember what I've learned. If I see a particular player do something really spectacular or screw up, I like to make sure I remember that.

    I hear that. I used to get the same response to playing MTGO. But now that's acceptable and the football is not. I'm also not allowed to play Guitar Hero by myself anymore, ever since I bought my wife her own controller so we could play together.

    You have porn stations on your TV? I have to use the internet. Oddly enough, downloading porn is still on the list of unacceptable hobbies. Yet reading Playboy is acceptable.

    Do I want to know what **** is hiding? Now that, I would say IS an unacceptable hobby, since you are affecting other people. Much like I would say that pushing old people down or stealing children would also be considered unacceptable hobbies.
  9. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    I do not think that I fall into any "category" when it comes to my hobbies. I do play golf, I also play disc golf. I enjoy the occasiona tennis match as well. In addition, I also play World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons (table-top), Heroscape, Blood Bowl, and most recently acquired a Nintendo Wii, and have been spending a bit of time with Smash Brothers Brawl.

    Before I moved to Texas I hunted, fished, camped, etc.

    And now the funny part: I have not had any television service for over 2 years. It is not because I think it is a bad thing to watch TV, but merely because my wife and I have discovered that we never really watched it when it was active. We do have a Blockbuster subscription thing and watch about 3 movies each week.

    So, am I wierd or what (Ransac is not allowed to answer that question)?
  10. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    I would answer your second question the same way you did -- I doubt that there's any (significant) correlation.

    However, continued use of the mind has been linked to a lesser risk of diseases such as Alzheimer's. As someone who has lost a close relative (grandfather) to Alzheimer's, I will actively pursue mentally engaging hobbies. That said, there may or may not be concrete evidence that it helps, but I believe it will.

    I agree with your (and others') points about not all reading being mentally exhaustive, and not all TV being useless. I still feel that if you took all the reading material in the world and all the television programs in the world and considered the mental activity inspired by each, the reading material would be proportionally more mentally engaging. And if that sentence makes sense to anybody, I will have surprised myself.
  11. turgy22 Nothing Special

    We need to figure out how to play Blood Bowl on a message board. I bought the game a few years back and no one will play it with me.
    Why'd you stop? Aren't there any good places to hunt, fish or camp out in Texas?
    Different, sure. I don't know about weird. My dad hasn't owned a television in over 10 years, but he is kind of weird. Personally, I only need television for 2 things: football and South Park. I'm basically willing to pay $50 a month for those two things. If I could find some cheaper way to get them both, I would.

    The statement makes perfect sense to me and I agree, although I think if you count internet content (including blogs and message board posts) as reading material, they'd come out much closer than otherwise.
  12. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Rokapoke: It makes a lot of sense.... you're surprised now?
    DF: Of course you're weird, you live in Texas and post to this board......
  13. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    Stop calling me "nobody"!

    If you dig hard enough, South Park episodes should be available online somewhere. Football, though, would be more difficult.
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I would love to play Blood Bowl! Dwarfs all the way!!!
  15. turgy22 Nothing Special

    Yes, we did play once. My bad.
    Yeah, football's the real motivation. I wouldn't even mind waiting for the South Park seasons to come out on DVD, but there's no substitute for televised football games. I'll go to a sports bar every now and then to see the 49ers, but it's definitely not the same as seeing the game in the comfort of your own home.
  16. Ransac CPA Trash Man

  17. BigBlue Magic Jones

    One general "thread" between activities...

    Wives tend to frown upon activities which men do that do not involve wives - or improving the wives quality of life. This isn't a dig against marriage, wives, or women. My wife dislikes most things that I do outside of spending time w/ her. The really illogical thing is - she'd rather I sit on the couch and watch the same program she's watching on TV then sit 10 feet away and listen to it while playing a game on the PC.

    My Ex-wife was pretty much the same way.

    They want our attention.
  18. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    See, this is why it's good that I'm single. If some girl doesn't like my hobbies, I can just shoot her...

    ...a smile. Then I tell her to go away.
  19. Killer Joe Active Member

    You should know that THAT attitude will keep you "single" for a looooooong time. :D
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Why is "single" in quotation marks? It makes it look like there's another word you might choose instead...

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