Philately, fishing, pottery: social networks put the hobbies of our grandparents back in fashion (VIDEO)

The hashtag #pottery is mentioned in 13.7 million posts on Instagram and has 6.4 billion views on TikTok. ― ETX Studio Photo

Saturday May 21, 2022 08:24 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO, May 21 — Nothing stays cool forever. Some hobbies ― like knitting, pottery or puzzles ― have suffered from these trend cycles over the decades. But social media is a game-changer, breathing new life into many of the hobbies primarily associated with our grandparents’ days. We take a closer look.

A few years ago, you probably didn’t know young people who were passionate about embroidery, pottery or stamp collecting. But Generation Z, those individuals born between 1997 and 2010, report all of this and more. Known to suffer from societal issues and climate-related anxiety, many are turning to activities once labeled “dorky” or old-fashioned to unwind.

A prime example is fishing. Once considered the favorite pastime of seniors, it is now attracting more and more young enthusiasts. One of them is Nathan Speltz. On social networks, in particular TikTok, the American shares his passion for this activity, which can be practiced at sea or in fresh water, on a boat or by the side of a river. Videos show him catching fish like sunfish, black bass and even a goliath grouper with disconcerting ease. His adventures, some of which end with the release of his takes, are followed by more than 515,500 subscribers on TikTok.

@naspeltz Have you ever ice fished? #icefishing #icefishing2021 #fishing GOOD TIME – Niko Moon

And the young man is not the only one of his generation to post fishing videos on the Chinese social network, known to be popular with Gen Z. The hashtag #fishing has accumulated more than 53 billion views, and the more utility #fishingtips has nearly 900 million. But what is behind this return of outdoor boating? An important factor is the desire to reconnect with nature, after months of restrictions and confinement measures. Fishing also appeals to various profiles because it meets a growing need to refocus in a calm and soothing environment.

The DIY generation

Pottery has the same benefits, according to its fans. And these fans are more and more numerous on social networks, as well as in Hollywood. Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Laura Harrier have all taken up ceramics in recent months, according to the Guardian. Seth Rogen has even set up his own studio, as has French designer Isabel Marant. Celebrities and non-celebrities alike rekindle their love of clay for a variety of reasons: some try pottery for its therapeutic properties, while others see it as an opportunity to release their emotions and let their feelings flow.

Whatever their motivations, amateur ceramists love to share on the web the bowls, plates, vases and sculptures they have created from scratch. The result is that the hashtag #pottery is mentioned in 13.7 million posts on Instagram and has 6.4 billion views on TikTok. Plain, graphic, coloured, stoneware or earthenware… There is something for all tastes and all occasions.

The pottery trend is emblematic of the DIY renaissance. Do-it-yourself is particularly resonating with the younger generations, despite the fact that they are connected to the internet almost half of the day. Digital fatigue caused by the pandemic has led Gen Zers to turn to more tangible forms of expression, including crochet, sewing and calligraphy.

The goal is to reconnect with reality, after months of isolation, limited activities and loneliness. But, if you want to get into a manual activity, you need a minimum of skills. This is where social networks and the countless tutorials they host come in. How-to videos make it easy for many budding creators to get started. Even if they have to face a lot of disappointments in the beginning.

On TikTok, ceramist Florian Gadsby’s most popular posts don’t show him making beautiful vases… but rather destroying them. “I promise, I’m really good at pottery, okay?” reads the caption of a video where he destroys, one by one, his creations. Failures particularly appreciated by Internet users since the publication has been seen more than 92 million times on the social network. It probably inspired many attempts too, along the way. ― Studio ETX

@floriangadsby I promise I’m good at pottery, okay? #notagain #pottery #fail #blooper #oddly satisfying original sound – Florian Gadsby