Individualistic vs group hobbies

samfloy~11 May 2019 /Random

This week I’ve been having various coffees/ catch-ups with friends dotted around London.

One topic that’s come up a few times is whether people have a hobby done in groups.

A hobby is a bit of an amorphous concept, but we generally settled on some sort of non-routine activity whose primary function is a pleasure.

Hobbying alone

It seems quite easy to find examples of solo activities one does to pass the time (reading, going to the gym, baking bread) but it seemed to get harder when finding non-work pursuits that take part with others.

Growing up I’d play in a football (soccer) team which gave a sense of shared purpose in the activity being done, rather than kicking a ball against a wall on my own.

When I look at the way in which I pass the time now, it’s mostly on individualistic pursuits. Even when reading or doing fitness in a group, it’s more that people are each doing so individually but just in the presence of other people.

We’re in this together

Those who did have a hobby where there was a common goal to work towards (football team, teaching at Sunday school, jiu jitsu, singing in a choir) said how they got the additional benefit to simply pass the time around other people.

It seems there are intangible benefits to working with others on something that all requires collective input.

Somewhat related is a newsletter I read this week about the benefits of finding a community.


As a result of all of this, I’m probably going to direct my attention towards finding a hobby that gets better with more collective input.

Whilst things like bootcamp/ yoga/ fitness classes at first feel like a group hobby, unless there’s a concerted effort for it to be “community building” I’d fear that it’s a missed opportunity to get the benefits of a sharing an activity/ experience with others.

If you have any well shared hobbies that you take part in, do let me know…

In other news…

The trip to the south of France was a success – we were able to exhaust almost all applications of the “Nice” pun. I also ate more cheese in four days than I have for the previous four months.

This weekend I’m near Milan on an “alumni retreat” for the entrepreneurship programme I did a few years ago.

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