Spanish youth's leisure time

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leisure time

 



The aim of this article is to describe recent changes in the way Spanish youngsters spend their spare time and to estimate what could happen in the future.




The greatest differences between now and twenty years ago are the relaxation of time limits when they go out and the rise in the amount of pocket money received. This, in itself, should bring more freedom. However, young people have preferred to tie their liberty to their house’s couch. This has happened owing to two technological developments.

The increased popularity of videogames has made all popular pastimes become rather old-fashioned. Games such as chess, table football or volleyball are no longer trendy. Apart from that, going out with friends has now become more enjoyable if greatly drenched in alcohol and drugs. As young people have more money to spend on this stuff, they easily become hooked with the excuse of having good fun. Unfortunately, they now spend endless hours in front of a screen, playing violent and non-educational computer games.

This leads on to another invention which has utterly transformed the way teenagers meet new people. Previously, people would meet new friends at school, work or parties, now they find them on the Internet or websites, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Most of the time they haven’t met face-to-face, although that doesn't prevent them from sharing photographs, state of mind and sometimes personal feelings or outlooks. In other words, they can chat for hours with ‘virtual friends’ rather than actually meeting them. Youngsters squander their precious time on social networking sites or even worse, they become obsessed with updating their ‘walls’ or increasing their amount of followers. Therefore, they are greatly losing their ability to socialize with their peers.

It is highly likely that people in their twenties will dedicate more time to technological devices in the years to come. They may well spend a great amount of their free time using new gadgets, simply chatting, watching videos, playing games or sending messages. Who knows, they might even begin to wish they had less individual activities and more eye-contact with their friends. Only the time will tell us.

   
© Plataforma creada por Alfonso Hinojosa - Profesor de Inglés de la E.O.I. de Santander