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20th Jun 2015

People of the Internet, Rejoice! Watching Cat Videos is Good for You

Well, that's the afternoon sorted...

Rebecca McKnight

Watching cat videos is good for you. It’s official, science says so. 

It’s news that will come as a balm to the souls of procrastinators worldwide, and it’s all thanks to assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick from Indiana University Bloomington.

Myrick undertook a study of over 6,500 people to determine whether watching such videos really can improve your mood.

According to IFLS, Myrick said: “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.”

“We all have watched a cat video online, but there is really little empirical work done on why so many of us do this, or what effects it might have on us. As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon.”

Previous accounts have suggested that the avoidance of work or the procrastination of unpopular tasks involved in watching the videos can lead to associations with anxiety. Myrick’s research, however, finds that the pleasure derived from the footage often outweighs the guilt.

“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 afterward,”Myrick said.

That’s good enough for us.