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In Living

Tennis? Nah. Knitting? No, thanks. TV? Now that's a hobby ... Or isn't it?

Sound-off: Is watching TV a hobby?


A recent conversation in the office inspired this week's sound-off question. Is television watching a hobby or an anti-hobby? What do you think? Sound-off; we want to hear your two cents!

TV watching is a hobby. If reading is a hobby, than watching television is a hobby, too. I'm sick of all the anti-TV people looking down on television watcher. There is a lot to learn from watching TV, and if you watch it smartly, meaning you analyze what you're watching, TV screening can be very intellectual, too. No, TV watching is not a physically-demanding hobby, but it's a hobby all the same.

TV watching is not a hobby. Watching television is a passive activity and therefore, not in the hobby category. It's about turning off your mind and body, not stimulating it. Occasional TV watching is fine, but watching it for hours every night in lieu of other non-work-related activities is lame.

Talkbacks

kinnickinnic | March 9, 2009 at 2:03 a.m. (report)

Yes it is a hobby!! A hobby that turns normal people into brainless zombies. As a neurosurgeon, I have examined the contents of the skull cavity of people who watch more then 100 hours a week of TV. The grey matter turns into a putrid goo. Most never knew the TV was on until it was to late.

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JKranky | March 8, 2009 at 9:29 p.m. (report)

It depends on how you do it. I love the whole story of telelvision; how it was invented, created, developed, networks, the golden age of television, writers, shows, late night, commercials, the history of television, the culture of television, the impact of television. I'm one of those people who watched the test pattern, knew the different hosts of local shows and watched the sign off they had at the end of the programming day. It sounds silly, but I guess I have a hobby here.

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Z_boy | March 8, 2009 at 8:26 p.m. (report)

Watching TV is not a hobby. Most people who watch TV partake in what is referred to as the LOP Theory. LOP stands for Least Objectionable Programming. It means that people typically don't watch a particular show, they watch TV. Without even knowing what's on the television, people turn it on, and then flip through the channels to find the show that is least objectionable to them. That doesn't sound like a hobby to me -- that sounds almost like an addiction. With all the great books out there in the world to read or all the great music out there to listen to, it's insane how television has dominated the lives of human beings.

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angelich | March 8, 2009 at 4:51 p.m. (report)

I think it becomes a hobby the more you watch esp. if you get into the culture (or fandom) and begin talking about it or you do more than just sit there. If you dial in to American Idol it's a hobby. Talk about the show around the water cooler, hobby. If you're a passive or occasional watcher, then it's not a hobby.

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BluMilo | March 8, 2009 at 2:54 p.m. (report)

I fall into the latter camp. I do think the occasional TV watching is OK, and certainly as a media platform TV has the ability to inform and educate. Ultimately, however, I don't think it's a "hobby". I think that for lots of people TV becomes an addiction, and can have a very negative effect on their lives. When I think of other "hobbies", I tend to think of them as being constructive in some form. Playing sports, crafty things, cooking, collecting things (in moderation) would all qualify. Reading... well, I think that's just a necessary life skill.

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