a) How people spend their free time
Free time is the time when we don´t have to go to work or to school. We generally use our free time for fun, entertainment and relaxation. Many people are under stress every day, young children and teenagers it is a way to develop their skills and talent and of course to keep them away from things like drugs, alcohol and bad friends.
There is a wide choice of leisure time activities and every one can find something for him. Some of us like collecting objects - stamps, postcards, badges, model cars, ships, coins, guns, beetles or even bottles. Some people like handicraft or like to do something creative such as gardening, cooking, sewing, knitting, ceramics or crossword puzzles. Television and video provide easy indoor entertainment. Watching TV is the most popular leisure time activity for many people. People also play computer games or use the Internet. No doubt that TV and computer are of great importance for our lives, but many scientific researches show that it’s unhealthy to sit in front of a TV or a computer more than 2 hours a day. There are also people who are fond of reading books or listening to music. Some people have a sport as their hobby. They can choose from a wide range of indoor or outdoor sports. The most popular sports people play are football, ice-hockey, basketball, handball, softball and tennis. It is a good and healthy hobby which helps us to be fit and keeps our body in a good condition. There are also people who spend their free time by drawing or painting, writing or playing a musical instrument because they want to develop their talent. People can keep a pet like a dog, a cat, a fish or a parrot not to feel alone or just to be in.
The profession can become a hobby for someone. According to psychologists it is beneficial to switch to a new activity in free time because these peole are much happier and they are more efficient when they start working again.
b) Formally organised free time (extra-curricular activities, clubs, seasonal jobs/part-time job
There is usually a wide choice of extracurricular activities on every school. These activities include various circles like volleyball, basketball or language circles. Some schools have their school magazine where pupils can publish their works. Students are becoming more and more independent and with this independence comes a need for money. Summer employment is an excellent alternative, as it does not interfere with schooling and provides teens with a constructive use of their free time. Teens want to work for a variety of reasons, but most of them are motivated by the desire to buy things. Teens generally spend their money on clothing, shoes and cosmetics, holiday and studies. Possible jobs for teens are: landscaping, delivering leaflets, babysitting, grocery or clothing stores, being a camp counselor and lifeguarding at a pool.
c) Hobbies (arts, culture, music, books, sport, do-it-yourself, outdoor activities)
A lot of people take pleasure in art and they spend their free time painting, drawing, pottering, singing or listening to music. We can go to see a concert or to see a theatre performance. Art lovers often visit art galleries and museums. The most popular art form is music. We listen to it at work, at home, and even when we are driving. We can take music lessons at music school where we learn to play a musical instrument. Some people like to spend their time-off with their friends. They have a picnic in the park or go out for a drink or go dancing and eat out. Many families from big towns like to go to the countryside at the weekend. They go out on short trips or they spend weekends at their cottages – doing gardening, growing fruit and vegetables, flowers, cutting grass, doing home improvements. Outdoor sports include for example skiing, hiking, climbing, horse-riding and golf. One of the most popular activity is cycling.
d) The influence of changes in society on how we spend our free time
I.T. has played a major role on the way we spend our free time, ever since the 1980’s, when television became more popular. Currently television still remains a very popular pastime, and is rare to find a home without one in. However, I.T. is becoming even more involved in the way we spend our free time. One way we are using the I.T. more in our free time, is by using the internet more. The ways we can use the internet are increasing every moment, with social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, video sharing sites, such as YouTube, and using an popular past time of playing games online. Chatting and video calls over the internet are also very popular.
e) Free-time activities according to age
Teenagers prefer doing physical activities, for example playing ball games like football, basketball or tennis. Nowadays, many girls and boys go to a fitness centre to keep fit and be slim. Some children are interested in reading books or magazines, watching TV, video or DVD or playing board games such as chess, scrabbles or monopoly. Others might enjoy playing a musical instrument like the piano or the flute.
Adults who are married and have families fill their leisure time with usual household activities. They do gardening, some do-it-yourself repairs or they decorate the house or repair their car. Parents also try to find time for their children. They take them to the zoo, on trips or on holiday. As we get older, our hobbies can remain the same. Some people who collected stamps as a child might still be collecting stamps when they are 60. Others can change their interests according to the latest fashion. For some people, it is very important to find a profession similar to their hobbies.
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