Monday Musings 6 May: Are you a secret Gen Zer at heart?

How many of you have found yourself picking up hobbies traditionally associated with retirees? If you’re nodding, you’re not alone, and you’ve got competition from Gen Z!

According to Emma Beddington in The Guardian, Gen Z is “coming for our hobbies, and they’re much better at them”. It seems the Gen Zers (born between 1997 and 2012, making them between 12 and 27 years old) are trading clubbing for quieter pursuits like rambling in the countryside, hiking – and hold on to your hat – crocheting! Beddington shares her surprise at her son’s newfound love for hiking trips, but he’s part of a wider trend of Gen Zers turning to group walks and other traditionally ‘older’ hobbies, often to find a sense of community – something this “extremely online generation” is increasingly seeking out.

And it’s not just hiking. Gen Z is rediscovering libraries (thanks to #BookTok) and starting book clubs – with lo and behold, real, tangible books. Nary a Kindle in sight. According to a 2022 report by the American Library Association, while 43% of Gen Z and millennials don’t identify as readers, half of them visited libraries in 2022. Wondering why? It’s often for the ‘look’ (i.e. content for social media), a sense of community, and a safe third place that isn’t home or work.

They’re even getting into birdwatching – the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has a hugely popular TikTok account. Then there’s the design trend of “aquatecture” to elevate fish bowls (yep, it’s a thing!), while quilting from scraps is big.

Finally, there’s the delightfully quirky trend of crocheting jellyfish-inspired pieces. Sydney Stanback, global trends and insights lead at Pinterest, says they’ve called this trend “Be Jelly” in their 2024 predictions report, which noted a 220% rise in searches for “jellyfish hat” crochet patterns.

“Be Jelly is this year’s mushroom except it goes well beyond the home,” Stanback says. “Anything from DIY jellyfish, couture fashion, hair – the jellyfish is really inspiring a lot of different things. It will be inspiring some hobbies in 2024.”

Experts say these hands-on pursuits offer mental health benefits like mindfulness, relaxation, and a sense of achievement. And as Deb Walker of Michaels, a chain of American and Canadian arts and crafts stores, notes: “If you fail, so what? But if you succeed and enjoy it, you have a new hobby.”

So, will you be attempting to crochet a jellyfish hat, heading off for a ramble in the mountains or whipping up homemade jam (à la Taylor Swift and Meghan Markle)? This untraditionally traditional generation may just inspire you to (re)discover a new passion!

Mindful Musings

Monday Musings 6 May: Are you a secret Gen Zer at heart? 1

What the world was musing over this past week

Monday Musings 6 May: Are you a secret Gen Zer at heart? 2

At what age are you considered “old”?

According to Gen Z, you’re positively geriatric when you’re Salma Hayek’s age!

Monday Musings 6 May: Are you a secret Gen Zer at heart? 3

Being a librarian the “best profession ever”

Ahead of Workers’ Day, a UCT librarian explained why her job is the coolest (and it seems, Gen Zers would agree).

Monday Musings 6 May: Are you a secret Gen Zer at heart? 4

New audio emojis include farting sounds

Google Pixel phone users have noticed a new feature that allows them to fart, laugh and clap down the phone.

Monday Musings 6 May: Are you a secret Gen Zer at heart? 5

A purrfectly honest mistake

A cat travels from Utah to California after the owners return a pair of steel-toed boots in a box (and unknowingly, their kitty) to Amazon.