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Ah, sweet vindication. All those cumulative hours spent watching cat videos are good for you! Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we can all feel justified.
Procrastination? Not a problem!
Texting your mom? Nope, just watching cat videos.
Too much screen time? Please. It’s strengthening the human-animal bond. No such thing as too much.
Okay, so according to a study, this favorite pastime might say more about humans than about the charms of cats. Interestingly, this is based on research done in 2015. We know that internet use is up every year to a point where 95% of North Americans now use the internet. Youtube alone has 1 billion mobile video views per day worldwide. We can’t help but wonder how many of those are cat videos.
It is well-documented that spending time with animals can improve our moods, sense of well-being, and even lower blood pressure. This study, by Jessica Myrick of Indiana University Media School, explored whether we might also benefit from time spent with animals via the internet given our obvious propensity for feline content online. Based on a strategic survey of 7,000 people, it was published in the peer-reviewed Computers in Human Behavior journal. It sought to identify links between personalities, behavior, and the consumption of cat videos, as well as the effects of viewing the cat content. While exploring associations between watching cat videos, procrastination, and emotions, the data revealed some positive news for people.
Despite some feelings of guilt associated with using cat videos to procrastinate more important tasks, there was also evidence that the benefits outweighed that. “Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterwards,” Myrick said.
Watching cat videos might improve your productivity after you’re done procrastinating.
After watching cat videos, study participants reported:
While we would never suggest that watching cats from afar replaces the benefits of having one or three cats of your own, we love seeing the ways in which our relationships with them can be mutually beneficial. They bring us genuine smiles and stress-relief daily, and all we need to do in return is stir the food that is already in their bowl to show them we care. (If you’re a cat owner, you know what we’re talking about.)
Are you a cat video lover?