Active and Passive Entertainment - Why are they important and which one fills most of your leisure?

Kumar Shashwat
Sep 15, 2018 · 3 min read
How we spend our free time tells a lot about ourselves for sure.

We all seem to be quite busy with our lives so it makes little sense to think of how we should spend the meager amount of leisure we have. Why think so much about something that barely lasts? There are important questions to ponder on, especially the ones that have to do with our careers, work, family or formal education. But at the same time, it can also be argued that the lesser of something you have, the more precious it becomes. There are enough scientific journals that prove that the way you spend your free time can affect your happiness and mental health to a great extent. It doesn’t matter what we do with our free time but we all share the one common goal, entertainment. Although there are many ways to entertain ourselves, every single one of them fits into either of the category, Active Entertainment or Passive Entertainment.

Active Entertainment, as the name suggests emphasizes your participation and expects you to react and respond to different situations. You’re expected to be more than just a mere audience. Think of playing an instrument, a sport or a challenging video-game. They all have one thing in common — they stimulate your neurons in a remarkable manner and are perceived as quite challenging. They don’t let you sit and just relax, they push to perform at your optimum instead and strive hard to get results, contrary to other forms of entertainment where you are not expected to produce anything at all, let alone with perfection. They are albeit less common, but more effective way to spend your leisure. They instill a sense of satisfaction through your nerves and leave you with a more confident self. But sadly enough, our society barely praises ‘true’ activity. From traditional elementary education to the corporate world, we’re never really encouraged to take initiative and act as per our needs.

Passive entertainment means you put yourself on an autopilot and expect yourself to immerse in whole new surroundings. Binge-watching, reading comics or books, listening to Podcasts, or watching a soccer match all fill this category. While they are a great way to recharge your batteries, they often eventually push you into a sedentary lifestyle and aren’t really satisfying for your body and mind. Many experts have argued that they provide low-value entertainment. Most remarkable people in their fields share a strong discontent with passive entertainment methods.

It’s wiser to spend our free time creating stuff, no matter how good or bad. A poorly painted dragon in your personal sketchbook has a unique sense of joy and accomplishment that watching an award-winning movie lacks. Watching Soccer, even if it’s watching Real Madrid’s play can never replace the sheer joy of playing this beautiful game, even if you fail to complete a single pass or win a tackle. While reading well-written informational blog posts is a good thing, it can never be as satisfying as writing one yourself, no matter how poorly it is written(like this one).

“Creation Leads to Passion, while Consumption drags you into the abyss of addiction.”

Kumar Shashwat

Written by

A highly-sensitive, introverted boy who loves to wander alone in this big scary world and finds an excuse to have a cup of ice-cream during winters.

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