Which came first? The Puppy Bowl or the Keyboard Cat? Before you Google this rhetorical question, allow me to admit I am asking metaphorically.
The Puppy Bowl X received 13.5 million viewers . It’s not hard to understand why.
In the 7 years the Keyboard Cat has been viral, it’s received over 34 million views on YouTube. There is no pinpointing exactly how many total views the video has across media platforms.
But the Puppy Bowl received over 1/3rd the total views Keyboard Cat has, in just a single day.
What’s obvious is people love animals (Shocking!).
Which came first, though, our fascination with our pets, or the popularity of them on the internet? If the Puppy Bowl was broadcast during the 50s, in black and white, would it receive the same ratings?
No one questions our pet obsession, but why are kitty pics, dog videos and cat memes amongst the most popular form of content on the web?
How about an experiment? I triple-dog dare you to not watch this gif at least twice…
My belief is it’s a deep-seated psychological crutch. Our News Feed, Home Pages and Inboxes are filled with bad news. Terrorism, war, depression. We see it every day of our lives. We go to work or school, and our days are filled with medial tasks we’d rather not do. I don’t believe I’m the first person to remind you, life is hard.
But our pets make us happy. Cat or dog, when we get home, our pet(s) always love us. Greet us. Comfort us. We love our pets, because above all else, they love us. Even when the rest of the world appears not to. Pets are one of the most fundamental similarities we all share as people.
So when we get home and turn on our computer, the cat meme or puppy video relieves our stress. Even if we don’t have a pet, we all mostly love animals. Or at least, the people worth knowing all love animals.
So we share animal media because it’s easy to do, makes us smile, and involves no thinking whatsoever. We have always loved our pets, but the internet has allowed us to more easily share this love. Feel comfortable swooning. Announce our obsession in anonymity. Relate to others that share our obsession. We feel connected to the world, and the people of it, because we are comforted by the fact other people share our interest.
So in conclusion, I suppose I don’t really have one. But I leave you with this scene from “The Wackness” about people that don’t like dogs. Consider it the best 30 seconds of advice you’ll ever receive.
Oh, and P.S. ~ Cheezburger