Get a Fucken Hobby, Man!
How much time do you spend on social media every day? Come on, be honest: one hour? Two? Four? Look, I’m not judging, you’re in good company. At the time of writing, Facebook has a mind-boggling 1 590 million users world wide, with 76 percent of the average American user logging in at least once every day. At this point us tech-savvy Swedes are spending – on average– an estimated seven hours a week social networks. Me, I squash those numbers. In fact, I’ll easily spend around 5-6 hours A DAY without breaking a sweat, scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat every chance I get. To be fair, social media is a part of my work. I at times create ads for Facebook and Instagram, and on occasion handle some of our clients Facebook-accounts, but I’m not sure if this makes that much of a difference. I’m just a real social media-addict, a Twitter-tweaker, a Facebook-fiend, an Instagram-junkie, a Snapchat-sucker. And as if this wasn’t enough, during a brief single-stint this fall I discovered the wondrous world of Tinder, swiping left and right as if my life depended on it. Add to this the amount of commitment it takes to follow virtually every show hitting Netflix and HBO; this leaves very little time to actually DO anything.
So what do all of these people I follow have in common? What lures me into their world?
Well, with the exception of Tinder – where a cute smile and a highly questionable taste in men seemed to suffice – there is one characteristic trait
Is social media becoming a substitute for actual real-life experience?
to be found in almost all Instagram and Snapchat accounts I so persistently frequent: They are very active people.
Whether it’s a Dutch microbrewery, a Canadian extreme downhill mountain biker or a Pakistani leather goods-brand, they’re all truly making things happen. They create, experience, struggle and succeed. They live.
Me? I just consume. I live vicariously through a constant stream of well-composed lifestyle photos, devour scenic video clips of rock-climbers, salmon-fishers and world travellers. What I really need is a hobby, an activity, something to help me fill my
own Instagram account with inspiring experiences. Done and done. All I need to do now is decide what my new hobby should be. I’ve narrowed it down to three options, based on my most frequently stalked Instagram-feeds, and with the help of a simple pro and cons-list, this should be easy:
ADVENTURER @mostextremepictures @redbull @aroundtheworldpix @natgeoadventure
PROS: Exciting, riddled with perfect photo ops, character building and life affirming, plus a great excuse to buy a lot of cool stuff and gizmos.
CONS: Expensive, dangerous and requires an at least average physique and stamina.
CONCLUSION: For a guy with a fear of heights, water, bears, spiders, strangers and low-quality toilet paper – not to mention a documented tendency to completely shut down at temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius and/or under -5 degrees Celsius – the
prospect of success (or at the very least survival) in the unfriendly environment of the K2 base camp or Amazonian jungle is meek. Pass.
START A CLOTHING BRAND @asketsthlm @sandlundhossain @northernhooligans
PROS: Creative, inspiring, challenging and the compelling prospect of becoming the owner of a multi-million-dollar fashion-franchise.
CONS: Expensive, time exhausting, low rate of success.
CONCLUSION: Aside from walking into a bad neighborhood holding a big bag of money asking if “anyone could please watch my big bag of money for a sec?” – starting your own fashion brand is the most surefire way to achieve swift personal bankruptcy. Being how I also have the business-sense of a mentally challenged seven-year-old, this is just a bad idea. Pass.
SKATEBOARDING @shecks @redbull @thrashermag
PROS: It’s cool, affordable and makes for awesome photos, at least from the ambulance ride due to a shattered pelvis following an overambitious attempt at a railslide.
CONS: I will hurt myself.
CONCLUSION: Sure, this will without a doubt lead to me spending quite some time in varying forms of cast around wrists, legs, and other exposed body parts – but it’s totally worth it. Plus, it would give me a valid excuse to use my already extensive selection of Vans and Thrasher-apparel without being exposed as a total poser. Skateboarding it is!
After all, sitting around watching everyone else collecting experiences are no way to live your life. Sure, you are so much more than what shows up on your Instagram wall, but if your last ten posts contain more than five pics of what you’ve had for lunch – you need to get busy living, or get busy dying. And coincidentally, in picking up skateboarding at the tender age of 36, I’m probably doing both. YOLO.