Hold on to your tablets, fans of Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat: Some very good news is coming your way. An Indiana University study released on Tuesday included survey responses from some 7,000 people and found that viewing cat videos online lead to increased energy and improved moods.
Jessica Gall Myrick, who conducted the study, is aware that some may dismiss the topic of cat videos as too silly for academic scrutiny, but she insists that the research is relevant to the way we use the Internet today.
Myrick told the IUB Newsroom, “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,” added Myrick. “As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon.”
According to Myrick, the results of her study suggest that watching cat videos online could be used as a form of low-cost pet therapy. Participants reported reduced negative feelings and an overall boost in mood. Myrick believes that even if cat video viewers appear to be avoiding work or study while viewing the videos, the high emotional payoff they experience may ultimately aid them in completing those same tasks.
So why not conduct a bit of your own research and indulge in some classic cat video therapy? We recommend Lil Bub taking a bath. Or, for you purists, the original Grumpy Cat.
Image via Adam Rifkin/Flickr