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Hobbies for techies

When your job is all about ones and zeroes, computers, and the latest digital trends, spending hours hunched on your workstation can not only be boring, it can also be detrimental – both to your work and to your health.

All work and no play, after all, can only be bad for you. Fortunately, there’s an easy and fun solution to burnout and physical inactivity: hobbies. Whether mundane or downright awesome, having an activity that you love is important in having a balanced work-life.

When it comes to hobbies, techies seem to excel in their choices. Curiously enough, there’s a trend of focusing on the physical instead of virtual things. Seth Porges of Forbes articulated that, “the more time you spend immersed in technology, the more likely you are to seek a reprieve with the tangible, the real, the analog.”

BUILD FREAKS

Due to the predilection to tinker and the awesome capacity to build things when nothing in the market suits their needs, techies are ghknown for their building/customizing hobbies. With the technical know-how that would be considered arcane to most mortals, techies are inventors and creators. Whether it’s a DIY drone or a home-irrigation project for the garden at the backyard, it pays to know a techie that can translate an idea to a physical thing.

For some, what scratches their itch is not in building something new, but in restoring something old. From simple projects as repairing old Nintendo Entertainment Systems or as time-intensive as restoring a classic car, there’s a certain pride in breathing new life to something old and broken.

THE COLLECTORS

Hoarding may have a bad rep due to shows like ‘Hoarders’, but the subtle passion of collecting is a long-cherished pastime. From old watches to toy trains or vintage bikes to everything Mario-related, collecting can provide quiet, understated joy to the collector.  gh1

And collecting isn’t for weirdos either. As Universal Coin reported, some notable celebrity collectors include: Nicholas Cage (vintage comics and European sports cars), Jay Leno (cars, housed in a converted airplane hangar), Eric Clapton (guitars), Lou Ferrigno (Beanie Babies), Johnny Depp (rare insects), Angelina Jolie (antique knives), Wayne Gretzky (coins), Dan Aykroyd (police badges), George Clooney (motorcycles), Billy Crystal (sports memorabilia), Jamie Lee Curtis (photographs), Demi Moore (dolls and vintage clothing), Rosie O’Donnell (McDonald’s toys), Quentin Tarantino (board games), and John Travolta (aviation memorabilia).

THRILL SEEKERSgh2

For some reason, there are a lot of techies who find joy in extreme activities. Maybe it’s the demand for meticulous planning, the rush of satisfaction of overcoming a particular challenge, or simply going at the ultimate opposite of the monotony of their every day, but doing extreme activities have long enticed techies.

Virgin founder Richard Branson is a prime example. Business Insider reported that Branson has adventured in the deep sea, was the first person to fly a hot-air balloon across the Atlantic Ocean, and has even gone to space. Michael Workman, former CEO of Pillar Networks, creates fireworks and goes to the deep for some underwater photography. Lot18 co-founder Philip James climbed Mt. Everest, and has embarked on a yearlong bike trip around the world. Kurt Uhlir, Founder of Sideqik, is a certified alligator handler. Tech executives, it seems, not only push the boundaries of their industries, but also test the limits of their bodies.

GAME GEEKS

When it comes to entertainment, techies loooooove their games. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation: some gamers learn to love tech because it’s the platform for their games, while some techies discover their love for games because they appreciate the technical sophistication of what they can play. gh3

But even analog games get their fair share of attention. Techies are thinkers, and playing games can cultivate lateral thinking, quick decision-making, and imagination. From simple board games to RPG sagas that provide group entertainment for months, techies have always been staunch gamers.

Even better, there’s an emerging trend of combining analog and digital to enrich the game experience. A good example is a Dungeons and Dragons campaign – but this time, instead of using crude, hand-drawn grid maps, the dungeon master (DM) can utilize a projector for a more immersive experience. I once joined a group that used an Epson ultra short-throw projector for tabletop projection (the projector was mounted on a table and projected the image on the same table). Maps, character portraits, even monster illustrations were easily and marvelously depicted for the group – making the game session smoother and more enjoyable. The DM even texted the players individually for information privy only to a player – not the group. It was, altogether, a more rewarding and immersive experience.

NATURE LOVERS

Masters of the digital, there are techies who choose to go back to the Earth as their hobby of choice. Nurturing florae, studying wildlifegh4, and even thinking of ways to protect nature, it is always advantageous when techies aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

CEO Kenny Rosenblatt of game company Arkadium grows organic vegetables in his own farm. Sandy Lerner of Cisco Systems raises horses. Former Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, keeps busy with his bees. Exploring the mysteries of the Earth is a challenging and rewarding endeavor – thank Gaea that tech minds are on the job.

FICTION BUFFS

Reality is for the weak of imagination. Techies have always loved going beyond the limits of reality – through books, movies, games, gh5art, and even group activities (Google: LARPing). The genre they support is also varied and expansive: sci-fi, steampunk, high and low fantasy, noir, horror, even screwball comedy. Imagination is a strong point of the techie, and it shows in his choice of entertainment.

Whether your cup of tea is to quietly curl up in your couch to read a star-crossed love triangle of a vampire-pirate timelord-cyborg or to explore the great outdoors, maintaining a healthy hobby is important for your overall well-being.