Hobbies get a Gen Z refresh

With everything going on today, sometimes making time for hobbies can seem like a lot of work. However, particularly since the pandemic, we have seen significant shifts in how Gen Zs spend their free time, swapping traditional pastimes in favor of some more unconventional hobbies. The common thread is that these all promote creativity and self-expression, core values to this cohort. Today, we take a look at three pastimes growing in popularity.


With 1.3B views on TikTok, one hobby is now experiencing an unexpected renaissance: bird-watching. It would seem that Gen Z is becoming a cohort of ornithologists, getting more and more into birding to help alleviate the stresses of living in their phygital world, where connecting with birds can be a type of mindfulness to help distract and calm the mind. For bird-watchers on the go, modern birding apps are rising in popularity. One is iBird Pro Guide to Birds, which has over 2.6K 4-star ratings, and offers a vast reference library in your back pocket, which can help identify different species of birds and their chirpy little bird songs.

— Kim 25, TX (Cassandra Collective)


Street fishing, also called urban fishing, is a growing sport attracting a new, younger breed of angler. It is at its biggest in Europe, where an underground culture of Millennial and Gen Z anglers from all backgrounds is taking over the banks of local rivers and canals. However, in the US, young middle school anglers caught on, signing up for fishing clubs and having a new found enthusiasm for the sport. In fact, casting a line over to TikTok, fishing-related searches are on the rise this year, particularly #streetfishing and #urbanfishin which have garnered millions of views between them. Then there are the celebrities fueling fishing’s calming reputation, including Rihanna. and Rita Ora, who says angling relaxes her.


Keeping on the subject of all things urban, urban foraging has grown in popularity given the realization that we’re surrounded by edible vegetation (think tree nuts, plant roots, mushrooms, and even flowers) that grow freely in our cities. Green spaces with trees, wooded stretches along bike paths, recreational trails, or waterways are all ripe for picking in urban areas. Experts suggest that beginner hobbyists get familiar with local laws and what is safe to consume since this typically varies by state on what harvesting is allowed and what is prohibited. In fact, these wild food educators are now in such demand they’re cropping up with safe foraging tips and techniques, such as popular urban forager Alexis Nikole, who teaches her 4.3M followers how to safely find, process, and cook wild, edible food found around her home in Columbus, Ohio.