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Hanging out with friends is certainly an enjoyable way to pass the time.

But can it be considered a hobby? 

There are good arguments on both sides of this debate. Here’s an in-depth look at whether spending time with friends should be classified as a hobby or not.

What Defines a Hobby?

To answer the question of whether hanging out with friends is a hobby, we first need to define what exactly constitutes a hobby. Here are some key characteristics:

  • A hobby is an activity or interest pursued for pleasure and relaxation. Hobbies are usually done during free time when you are not working.
  • Hobbies do not generate income. They are solely for enjoyment and fun.
  • Hobbies require some level of active participation and often involve developing skills over time. There is a process of learning, improving, and eventually mastering a hobby.
  • Hobbies have an element of creativity and personal expression. Quilting, photography, and painting are all creative hobbies.
  • Collections can be hobbies. Collecting stamps, coins, or antiques involves patience and hunting for specific items.
  • Hobbies are usually individual pursuits, though some can be enjoyed in groups. Most hobbies can be done alone or shared with others.

Arguments For: Hanging Out as a Hobby

With this definition in mind, here are some reasons why hanging out with friends could qualify as a hobby:

It’s Done for Enjoyment

The main motivator is having fun. You likely aren’t making plans with friends because you feel obligated to, but because you want to. There’s no other external benefit than the pleasure of the experience.

It Requires Active Participation

When you make plans with friends, you are choosing to carve out leisure time specifically for that activity. This involves coordination and commitment. You also have to be engaged and present during the hangout to fully enjoy it.

There’s Room for Skill Building

Any social interaction requires skill! Making conversation, telling stories, listening, showing empathy, and reading body language are all skills that can be developed. Friendships thrive when both people build these abilities.

It Can Be Creative

You and your friends get to choose fun locations, pick engaging activities, and think of interesting conversation topics when you hang out. There’s ample room for creativity in planning a fun time.

Friends Can Become a Collection

For some, collecting friends or making new social connections can become a hobby itself. They enjoy meeting and relating to all sorts of people.

See Also: 5 Best Hobbies for Extroverts

Arguments Against: Why It Might Not Be a Hobby

Now let’s look at some reasons why hanging out with friends may not qualify as a true hobby:

It’s a Basic Human Need

We are social creatures. Seeking out companionship and relationships is an innate human need, not just an optional leisure activity.

No Clear Goal Besides Socializing

Most hobbies have some sort of skill to learn or outcome to achieve. With hanging out, the only real goal is to enjoy each other’s company.

It’s Too Passive

Simply being around friends without doing any specific activities is fairly passive. True hobbies require active participation and some type of engagement.

Challenges and Growth Are Limited

Casual hangouts with friends allow for some growth, but not at the same scale as passionately pursuing a hobby like woodworking or gardening over many years. There is a ceiling.

It’s Not Creative Enough

Coming up with fun hangout ideas requires some creativity yes, but not to the level of artistic hobbies like painting or music.

Tips for Making Hangouts with Friends More Hobby-Like

If you want the time you spend with friends to feel more like a fulfilling hobby, here are some helpful tips:

  • Learn a new skill together. Take a class, such as cooking, dancing, or painting. You’ll learn something new while enjoying time with friends.
  • Create something together. Join forces on DIY crafts, photo albums, or making videos to document your hangouts.
  • Plan epic adventures. Go on a road trip somewhere new and exciting. The planning process can be part of the hobby.
  • Train for something together. Do a 5K, tough mudder, or marathon with friends. Having a shared goal ups the hobby factor.
  • Make your hangs purposeful. Don’t just sit around. Play games, have meaningful conversations, and try an intense workout class. Add purpose.
  • Curate a unique experience. Instead of a generic dinner and a movie, put thought into hosting a cool game night, VR experience, or retro-theme party.

See Also: The Ultimate Guide to Best Hobbies for Women in Their 20s

Should Hanging Out with Friends Be Considered a Hobby Like Listening to Music?

Should hanging out with friends be considered a hobby like listening to music? While both activities can bring enjoyment, they have distinct differences.

While listening to music as a hobby can be a personal activity, hanging out with friends involves social interaction. Some may argue that socializing itself can be a hobby, while others view it more as a leisure activity.

Ultimately, the classification depends on individual perspectives and preferences.

Balance is Key

Ultimately, hanging out with friends certainly does have some hobby-like elements, even though it may fall short of being a true hobby unto itself for some people. The key is finding balance. Invest time in your hobbies as well as nurturing your friendships. Both are important for a fulfilling life.


While it likely doesn’t reach full hobby status, hanging out with friends can be a fun and meaningful way to enjoy your free time. Add purpose and active participation whenever possible to get the most out of time spent with your favorite people.

Don’t forget to also pursue solo hobbies that challenge and excite you at the same time. Maintaining a good mix of friendship-building and individualized pursuits is ideal for a life well lived.

FAQs about Is Hanging Out with Friends A Hobby?

Can socializing be a hobby?

Yes, socializing can be considered a hobby if you actively pursue meeting new people, having meaningful conversations, and making connections. It takes effort and skill.

Is talking to your friends a hobby?

Talking to friends is not necessarily a hobby itself, but having deep conversations and storytelling within friendships can be viewed as honing a skill.

Can making friends be a hobby?

You can make having an active social life and making new friends a legitimate hobby by intentionally developing social skills and seeking out new connections.

Can you make friends through hobbies?

Shared hobbies are a great way to bond and make friends since you immediately have a common interest to build your relationship around.

What is a hobby for helping others?

Hobbies focused on helping others include volunteering, mentoring youth, fostering animals, writing letters to elderlies, and more.

What is an example of a hobby community?

Book clubs, running groups, crafting circles, sports leagues, and hobby conventions are all examples of communities forming around shared hobbies.

Tom Velasco

Tom Velasco

I'm just a regular guy who loves hobbies. I'm also the creator of Hobbyist To Riches, where I've spent the last 15 years trying out all kinds of hobbies that make life happier and financially rewarding. My adventures have taken me around the world to immerse in different cultures and their diverse pastimes. I love sharing this journey of discovering new passions!

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