by: Russel Angot




Common Pastime Activities of Teenagers

            All teenagers are different and like to do different things. Many like to spend their free time with friends, shopping, going to parties, using the computer for games or other online activities, social networking, texting, watching movies, reading and going to the beach or park (HealthyFamilies BC, 2014). Teenagers fill their leisure hours with a variety of activities some of which are not always agreeable to adults. Some parents claim teens watch too much television; most experts believe teens do not get enough physical exercise; teachers complain their students spend too little time on schoolwork or reading. This unfavorable picture, however, is not entirely accurate (Library Index, n.d.).

Young people aged between 16 and 24 spend more than 27 hours a week on the internet, communications watchdog Ofcom said as it laid bare the extent of the UK’s changing internet habits over the last decade (Anderson, 2015). Moreover, Britain has recent by been described as a “leisure society.” This is because there are a great variety of leisure pursuits. Young people generally go out on Friday or Saturday nights to a disco, to a concert or to a pub. In recent years going out for a meal or getting a take-away meal have become popular too. During the past years there is a great increase in keeping fit and staying healthy. A lot of teens started running, jogging and going to different fitness clubs in their spare time. Aerobics classes and fitness clubs opened in every town, and the number of recreation centers greatly increased. Indoor pools, with their wave-making machines, water slides and tropical vegetation, have become very popular (Native English, n.d.).

The same is true in Russia. A lot of teens go in for different kinds of sport. Sport helps them to feel as fit as a fiddle. In both countries there are special programs for problem teenagers, such as a high-risk activities, for example they are taught to jump out of aeroplanes. But despite the increase in the number of teens participating in sport, the majority of young people still prefer to be spectators. They prefer to be couch potatoes. Watching sports on TV is a popular leisure activity, as is going to football matches on Saturday. Cinemas have been redesigned with four or more screens, each showing a different film at the same time, and a lot of teens like going to the cinemas too (Native English, n.d.).

According to Wallace (2015), on any given day, teens in the United States spend about nine hours using media for their enjoyment, according to the report by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping children, parents and educators navigate the world of media and technology. American teenagers spend their time largely in front of a screen. According to Kaiser Family Foundation research, teenagers spend more than 50 hours weekly in front of their laptops, computer, tablet, cellular phone and any other electronic devices. This screen time affects their health and academic performance. In the end, it also influences their behavior, priorities and relationships. Most of the time, it has a negative impact on teens (Reference, n.d.).

According to Steyer (as cited in Wallace, 2015), the implications of this digital transformation are huge for tweens and teens, educators, policymakers and parents. For one, living and communicating via mobile devices gets in the way of empathy. Texting is so much less empathetic than having a conversation in person and looking somebody in the eye and having physical or at least a verbal presence with them.

Pastime Activities of Teenagers in the Philippine Context

            In the 21st century, technology has been rising and there have been new trends made. With the use of technology and what we call “the internet”, all the information needed was already posted online and is just a click away (Tisha, 2013). Through internet everyone can access different social media. The concepts behind “social networking” aren’t anything new – ever since there have been humans, we have been looking for ways to connect, network, and promote with one another – but they’ve taken on an entirely new meaning (and momentum) in the digital age (Milanovic, 2015). Because of this, they prefer virtual interaction like text messaging, e-mail, Internet chat, and surfing rather than personal interaction (“The Filipino Youth Today…” 2013).

            The usage of social media by Filipinos will amaze you. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are the top most profiles used especially by teenagers and young adult (Sienasmec, 2015).  Most Filipino Youth now enjoy mostly on texting, surfing the net and are more on the couch-potato type, those who just sit down, watch television and eat all the time… (Tisha, 2013).

Filipinos aged 15 to 24 years old represent the biggest consumers of information technology in the past few years, a survey on media use and youth lifestyle showed. Dr. Grace Cruz, author of the study, said media consumption of young adults have shifted over the years with traditional media like newspapers on the low end last year (Cebu Daily News, 2014).

According to a research conducted by Ma. Angela Teresa G. Sebastian on the usage of Filipino youth of internet, 41.8 percent of the youth reported using the Internet every day while 17.3 percent reported being online thrice a week. On average, the Filipino youth are online 22 hours a week, or roughly 3 hours a day (Sebastian, M., 2014)

Furthermore, the youth of today go to different places, enjoying their coffee and donuts in some fancy coffee shop or having their lunch at a famous restaurant, and tend to imitate some characters from different foreign films (Lazaro, 2012).

Youths today are too easily obsessed with everything, not only material things like gadgets, make-ups, dresses, etc. but also games (Defense of the Ancient a.k.a. DotA) and TV shows (PBB Teens). They don’t really care much of other stuff. Their primary concern is themselves, their pleasures, what they want, what satisfy them (Balbuena, 2012).

Meanwhile, according Michelle (2011), sleeping is frequently pastime of most Filipino people, we love to sleep especially when the weather is cold and rainy. It feels relax when you sleep because you are able to forget many problems even for a while that you have. Aside from that you are able to have peace of mind.   For the adults or adolescence, it helps them to take rest when they are tired. It’s nice to sleep when you are so much tired. Upon wake-up, it is a sign that God’s grace is in with you because He is able to give you another life, and another day to live and experience the life.

Balbuena (2012) noted that these changes that occurred to the behavior of the youth should be received for the reason that these diversions are done in response to the desires of the society. It is not somewhat to be terrified about. As long as they are controllable and their actions are for the profit of the other people, it will be valued and respected.

Effects of the Pastime Activities of Teenagers Nowadays

The youth today are so exposed in social media and it is verified by a study of the University of Maryland in 2010 that suggested that social media services may be addictive, and that using social media services may lead to a “fear of missing out,” also known as the phrase “FOMO” by many students (“The Filipino Youth Today…” 2013). Texting, instagraming and facebooking has turned our children into a generation of mindless drones who can only interact when they’re behind a keyboard, earpiece, speaker or headset–anything else is just too scary (Torres, 2015). Because there are factors from technology that hinders the youth’s intellectual growth like video games, social networking sites and other online activities (Tisha, 2013).

We often hear reports about youth obesity in the Philippines, weight gain is caused by taking in too much food and not burning enough calories to maintain a good balance and normal weight. If one does not exercise and remains a couch-potato watching TV, it is very obvious that this will lead to obesity (Lazaro, 2012).

There are also a lot of benefits that come from social media and the internet for teenagers. For a lot of people in my age group social media is an outlet for thoughts that they are able to share with their peers. Websites where you can interact with others your age means a lot to teenagers because it is a form of self-expression. As we begin to get older it is very important to know who you are and what you want to do with your life, through social media you can easily find this out (Crawford et al., 2015).

It has been said time and time again that there is something different with the circumstances surrounding our generation. We live in an era where our social impact is accelerated by the wealth of resources we have at our disposal.

In the age of the New Media and exponential technological advancements, we have the capacity to do more, reach more people, and act earlier – but the caveat is that we must use these resources responsibly (Sebastian, A., 2014).

In conclusion, social media can have both a beneficial and negative impact on the youth of my generation. It can help youth prosper in so many different ways. As well as hold them down in various ways. The impact that social media has on us is up for us to decide (Crawford et al., 2015)!

Theoretical Framework

The interest of teenagers in hanging out around streets corners with friends rather than take part in sports or organized activities can be correlated with the term “Kevin the teenager’s effect” wherein Kevin Patterson, a character created and played by the British comedian, Harry Enfield, is a stereotypical British teenager who found everything “too boring”. It even makes boys more likely to take risks and argue with their parents, just like Enfield’s classic character from the hit 1990s show. Harry Enfield may have turned the teenage years into a comedy with his creation Kevin the Teenager – but for many families this is a period of intense and sometimes relationship-threatening stress (Murfitt and Reilly, 2011). Teenagers of today’s generation may be having this approach because education researchers have proved that children aged between 12 and 15 would not be persuaded to turn their backs on the street because of more leisure facilities (Anonymous, 2004).

Meanwhile, there is a new teen trend which is called vamping (as in vampires). Danah Boyd describes “vamping” as a time when kids can socialize together, free from structure and adults’ prying eyes (The Conversation UK, 2015). It is a name for teens staying up too late and posting on social media (Penn, 2014). This presents how teenagers are more likely influenced by the internet and social media.

This hypothesize that the use of technology by teenagers causes them to do or to become what they are watching and they tend to stay up too late at night which is free from adults’ prying eyes just to go over their social media accounts and socialize with their peers.

Conceptual Framework     

            In view of the literature presented, figure 1 shows how pastime activities affects the teenagers’ behavior and personality.

The independent variable of this study is the Pastime Activities.

The dependent variables of this study are the Behavior and Personality.


           Independent Variable                                                         Dependent Variable




Figure 1. Conceptual Framework Showing the Variables of the Study


Definition of Terms

To facilitate better understanding of the study, the following terms are operationally defined:

Pastime Activities. The activities executed by the respondents when they have free time or vacant time both inside and outside the school premises.

Junior High School Students. Students who are in the first four years of secondary education of the Philippine educational system.

Free Time. The time of the respondents wherein they are not engaged in a scheduled task or assignment. They are just relaxing and are stress free.

Behavior. The traits or actions shown by the respondents which are influenced by their pastime activities.

Interests. The wants or desires of the respondents that they want to do during their free times.



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