Is Watching TV a Hobby? An Argument Settled Once and for All


Television has been around for a long time, in fact, it’s been around since 1927 but the origins date back even further to when the technology was being worked on.

Since that time, television has taken over our homes and is regularly something that we gather around to get comfortable for the evening while we watch a movie or our favorite shows.

Because of this, there is much debate on whether watching television can be classed as a real hobby or if it’s just a mindless activity that doesn’t meet all the criteria to be classed as such.

In truth, we can understand aspects of both arguments, however, it’s important to emphasize that the term “hobby” comes with a strict textual definition which we’ll explore throughout the article.

An Argument Against Watching TV Being Classed as a Hobby: The Nay-Sayers

The nay-sayers regularly cite television as not being a true hobby because it doesn’t require any creative input or a sense of progress; essentially, you sit back and let the TV do it’s magic while you enjoy without any thought.

They argue that to be classed as a hobby you must be working on something in a practical sense whether that be getting physically fit or creating a beautiful piece of art that you’ve sat for hours mulling over.

Apparently, sitting and watching TV because it’s feeding you the information is not a hobby in the eyes of the nay-sayers meaning you must pick something that requires more input.

We think this argument stems from the negative stigma around TV watching that has led people to becoming fat, uneducated, and having a fantastical idea about the world around them that isn’t grounded in reality.

And in truth, we can definitely recognize the negative influence that TV has on millions of people all around the world, however, that doesn’t mean to say that it doesn’t bring positive benefits and that it can’t be classed as a hobby.

Let’s take a look at how that is and discuss the reasons why watching TV is a hobby.

An Argument For Watching TV Being Classed as a Hobby: The Yes-Folk

In the other corner, we have the “yes-folk” who positively agree that watching television is by definition a hobby and that by arguing against it you’re only deluding yourself in your own ignorance around what hobbies actually are.

The yes folk like to cite the textbook definition of the word hobby which is: “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure”.

So, by definition then we already have the answer, television-watching is 100% a hobby and that’s all the yes folk need to convince themselves that they’re right.

In fact, if you’re a hobby purist then you’ll most likely fall in the yes-folk camp in agreeing that watching TV is definitely a hobby albeit not the most productive one in the world.

To expand on both arguments though let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of watching TV.

TV as a Hobby: The Positives and Negatives

We wanted to offer our own thoughts on TV as a hobby to give you a better understanding of why we think it can offer some positives and sometimes some negatives.

TV has the power to expand your world views; it gives you access to places that in truth, you may never have been able to explore without the journalists, documentarians, and moviemakers actually going there to film and talk about whatever it is they’re filming.

A good example of this is historical documentaries that take us to far off regions of the world to explore rich culture from times long-gone.

And just like reading a book, this has the ability to feed your imagination and allows you to make more educated opinions about a variety of topics that might arise throughout your life.

On the flipside, TV also has the power to cripple you if you let your viewing habits go unchecked.

For example, if you’re foregoing your chores such as keeping the house tidy, practicing good hygiene, and taking time off from your studies or work in favor of watching TV then this is where it becomes detrimental, and often why the nay-sayers think that television shouldn’t be classed as a hobby.

FAQ: Important TV Viewing Questions

Is watching movies a hobby?

As we’ve already concluded, anything you enjoy doing in your spare time can be classed as a hobby, although it may not be the most productive if you’re not using it to enhance aspects of your life.

You can boost the efficacy of movie-watching into something positive by trying to watch movies that are linked to other productive hobbies or by watching informational movies such as documentaries that help to educate you about the world around you.

Just like watching TV in general, if you let positive practices slip such as good hygiene, helping with chores, and furthering your studies then this is where you need make an assessment of whether you should continue doing it.

With that said, some of the most successful directors in the world regularly watched movies when they were younger and this helped to inspire them in the movies they made and how they went about important aspects such as set design.

In essence then, use your movie-viewing hobby as a tool for good rather than letting it drag you under into a cycle of unproductiveness.

Is binge watching a hobby?

Binge watching is a term that is commonly used these days to refer to the practice of watching a full TV series back to back, or watching multiple movies in a long series such as Lord of the Rings.

We argue that if you’re binge-watching with a friend in your spare time to make an enjoyable day out of it then this is a good way to create something positive which we would agree is a worthwhile hobby.

The word “binge” does have negative connotations associated with it and we recommend exercising caution when spending long periods of time doing anything, not just binge watching a TV show.

Make sure to mix some regular exercise, studies, and productive chores in with your binge-watching hobby.


In conclusion then, watching television by definition is a hobby that can be used for good if you’re educating yourself, however, can also become detrimental if you’re avoiding necessary life chores such as practicing good hygiene.

In fact, it’s a hobby that even made it into our mega hobby list due to how popular it is as a pastime and because of all the services that allow you to really customize your viewing potential.

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