If you get caught watching a cat video at work, chances are you will get a warning from your boss or you will get fired on the spot. Many people especially bosses think that watching a video of a cat doing silly stuff is a waste of time. But according to a new study conducted by Jessica Gall Myrick who is an assistant professor at the Indiana University Media School, “watching cat videos is not a waste of time.” In a news release Myrick stated: “Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional payoff may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward.”
Myrick did a survey and asked almost 7,000 individuals with regards to their habit of watching cat videos. Survey participants were also asked about their feeling before and after watching cat videos. In an interview with Indiana Public Media, Myrick said that most people experienced improvements in their mood. “Specifically, they reported after watching Internet cat videos that they felt more hopeful, more positive, more inspired and they also tended to feel less anxious, less angry — we saw a decrease in negative emotions,” said Myrick. The positive feelings from watching cat videos also overrides the guilt of doing it even when there are some things that needs to be done, the survey participants reported. Although some people will still argue that watching cat videos and studying people who watches the clips are a waste of time, Myrick disagree saying the following statement in the news release: “Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the Internet today. If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cats anymore.”
Cat lovers watch cat videos on YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing website. As of last year, YouTube had 2 million cat videos which earned 26 billion combined views. Cat videos are one of the most popular categories on YouTube. In fact, quite a few cats like Maru and Lil Bub became famous after their video became viral on YouTube. The very first cat video that was shared on YouTube was posted by Steve Chen, the website’s co-founder.
Image via YouTube.com