Popular hobbies and interests change over time and are more a reflection of trends and fashions than an indication of what individuals really want to do in their spare time. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Some leisure activities become fashionable for a short time and then disappear when a new trend comes along, whereas others seem to be perennially popular. I can therefore only partly agree with the assertion that hobbies reflect changing fashions rather than our true interests. On the one hand, it is true that many hobbies are simply passing trends. Children and teenagers, in particular, are attracted to whatever activity is currently popular among their peers. My 10-year-old niece, for example, seems to have a new interest every month, as she joins in with the latest craze that sweeps through her primary school. Over the last year or so, she has been obsessed with Rubik’s cubes, fidget spinners, squidgies and slime. In a similar way, there have been several different fitness trends for adults over recent years, from jogging to yoga to circuit training, and I doubt whether the majority of participants continued to enjoy those activities in the long term. On the other hand, many people spend their free time doing popular activities that are far from trendy. One good example would be the game chess. Children and adults who enjoy playing chess are certainly not following a new fashion or wasting their time on something that they do not truly like. On the contrary, they are passionate about a game that has existed for hundreds of years, and they find it inherently fascinating and absorbing. I would say the same about many other hobbies, from reading to swimming.