Is Watching Documentaries A Hobby? Is It A Good Or Bad Thing?

Could it be possible that watching documentaries is actually a worthwhile hobby?

I answer this question along with many other important ones, so let’s get started right away.

Is Watching Documentaries A Hobby?

is watching documentaries a hobby

Consider the fact that a hobby is defined as an activity pursued for interest or relaxation, then yes, watching documentaries is certainly considered a hobby.

So, essentially, a hobby can be anything you do to have a good time or relax and not as a job. So, the answer to the question “is watching documentaries a hobby” is simply, yes, if you like doing it!

Is It Good To Watch Documentaries?

Of course, it is good to watch documentaries. At the very least, watching documentaries is no worse than watching anything else.

Here is one of the biggest benefits when it comes to watching documentaries as a hobby.

1) Documentaries Can Be Eye-Opening And Informative

The dictionary defines a documentary as “a presentation (such as a film or novel) expressing or dealing with factual events”. By definition, documentaries are meant to be used to display facts and information to the viewers, to give them a better understanding of the topic at hand.

Documentaries are often very eye-opening and informative.

Eye-opening documentaries often bring a topic to the viewers that they otherwise never would have known about or even thought about without the documentary.

They often expose something wrong happening in the world or shed light on some small historical event, or cover the life story of someone forgotten by the history books.

A documentary that exposed something wrong happening in the world is the 2013 film Blackfish, which was about the mistreatment of whales being held in captivity in SeaWorld amusement parks across the world.

Before the film, the general public never even considered how those whales were living, but after it came out they were disgusted and the admission revenue at SeaWorld dropped drastically.

The film had a positive impact on SeaWorld ending their Orca breeding program and them modifying the shows the whales had to put on.

A documentary that shed light on some small historical event, in this case, an event in music history, was the 1970 movie Gimme Shelter.

Originally, the movie was being filmed as a concert movie for the rock band The Rolling Stones, but once fights and a riot started to break out in the audience it became something much more.

The film gives a fascinating and eye-oping look into not only the music industry but the general social climate of the 1970s.

But, documentaries are not only eye-opening, but they can also be very informative too. An informative documentary can be used to teach topics to the viewers in a way that can help them further understand.

For example, the 2006 documentary series Planet Earth, and its companion series 2001’s Blue Planet, are two very informative documentaries.

The pair of them inform the viewers all about this planet of ours and all the different animals and planets who live on it with us and must be protected. There are species of monkeys and fish that are only widely known because of documentaries like Planet Earth and Blue Planet.

Additionally, any documentary by Ken Burns is very informative. Whether it is Ken Burns’ The Civil War or The Dust Bowl, there are many different documentaries on a wide range of topics from Ken Burns that are famously informative and well researched.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Documentaries?

Obviously, documentaries are not a perfect medium. Documentaries are only as good and well-intentioned as the people who make them.

Sometimes mistakes can be made or the filmmakers could be biased or they could be incredibly misleading. The disadvantage of documentaries is that they are not always 100% truthful.

1) Documentaries Can Be Inaccurate, Misleading, Or Outdated

Documentaries are inherently flawed. They can be made with the best of intentions or the worst of intentions. Unfortunately:

  • Then can be made with inaccurate information.
  • They can be made with misleading information.
  • And they can even be made long enough ago that the information is outdated.

Some documentaries include inaccurate information. Many people argue that there have been many propaganda films that simply made false claims with nothing to back them.

A documentary that is famously misleading is the 1922 film Nanook of the North. This was a silent and black and white documentary that claimed to be showing the lives of Inuit tribes living in northern Canada.

However, it was later revealed that a lot of the scenes were staged to fit the director’s perceived idea of what life would be like for the Inuits. In fact, one of Nanook’s wives in the movie is played by the director’s wife. The entire movie is stated to be misleading and full of lies.

A similar documentary where people argue that there is misleading information, is the 2004 film Super Size Me, about a man eating nothing but McDonald’s for thirty days.

The claims of misinformation of this documentary come from the fact that nobody has been able to recreate his result and the basic math of how many calories he claimed to be eating on average a day did not add up. Essentially, showing that he was using inaccurate information in his film.

By nature, almost all documentaries are outdated as soon as they are released. Whether it is about a person or an event, a lot can happen after the movie comes out that can make it outdated. Some documentaries can even become outdated before they even get a chance to be released.

Closing Words About Watching Documentaries As A Hobby

So there are definitely some pros and cons when it comes to watching documentaries as a hobby, and yes, watching documentaries is definitely considered a hobby.

Just make sure that you keep an open mind when watching documentaries. Heck, and that goes for any hobby that is related to watching entertainment such as:

As innocent as documentaries may seem to be, there is always the option for outdated and misleading information.