Social media can be a distraction from important things like college or in-person interaction. For me I have found that social media distracts me from one of my favorite hobbies, reading classic literature. There needs to be a balance between school/work and taking time to relax and enjoy life. I have found that social media doesn’t satisfy that need for relaxation, even though it can be just passively scrolling through pictures or messages. Three guidelines that I have found to be the most rewarding means of relaxation are:
- Participating in hobbies
- Interacting in person with family and close friends
- Avoiding worry and anxiety over things that are not in your control
I wrote these down because I need to take these to heart and take time for rest, maybe they’ll be helpful for you as well.
Buffet of Different Styles and Worldviews
Classic literature like Beowulf (975 A.D.), Pride and Prejudice (1813), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Little House in the Big Woods (1932), and Fahrenheit 451 (1953) offer a diverse and huge range of writers, perspectives, and social atmospheres. Some are fictional, some are based on reality, some are a prediction of a coming reality, but they all have valuable content that can shape our minds to see in new and different ways. There are so many diverse and unique writers and books out there and no matter your set of interests there are wonderful books out there to learn from and enjoy. Beowulf is written out of a worldview shaped by the need for survival, so is Pride and Prejudice. The difference is that Beowulf is trying to survive fighting with the monster Grendel to save his people, whereas Elizabeth and her sisters in Pride and Prejudice have to marry to survive in a society where only men could inherit. Fahrenheit 451 was written by a WWII veteran who believed that books were the means to peace and peace was a result of a spread of knowledge. So you can see how reading these different classics works would expose you to different styles of writing, and different views of the world!
Diversifying Your Vocabulary
I chortle at the thought of how piteous my vocabulary would be without the goodness of my mother encouraging me to love reading and especially reading classical literature. I believe that reading in general is really beneficial when you seek to improve your vocabulary and see how word can be used, but I think there is special advancement in vocabulary and comprehension of words and reading for those who train themselves to read classics like those written by Charles Dickens and J. R. R. Tolkien. Of course course you may end up saying etiquette, fiery, and rendezvous wrong if you don’t look up how to say them after you find them in some reading you are doing. These are three words that people have made fun of me for saying wrong because I didn’t other to look up the pronunciation, so I would highly recommend doing that!
Read Anywhere to be Wherever at Any time
The best thing about having reading as a hobby, you can go anywhere at anytime in your reading. You can also almost read anywhere at anytime as long as you have a book! There are so many books and so many places within the books to explore! Who doesn’t love to explore Middle Earth with Bilbo Baggins, or Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring (The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien)? Who doesn’t love to have tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol), or who doesn’t love to watch the end of the universe play over and over while sitting in a restaurant with Zaphod, Trillian, and Arthur Dent (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams)?
I love to explore the amazing settings in books; there are so many characters and situations that I love to observe and hopefully learn from. You can go back thousands of years by reading an old book. You can read what people think the future will be like by reading a books that is Sci-fi, either way you can go back in time or forward to a supposed future. There is so much to learn, so why not make reading classics a new hobby? It is a better way to rest than to scroll through social media.