Justification for the countless hours you spend watching cute cat videos has finally arrived! In a new study published in the Computers in Human Behavior journal, author and assistant professor at The Media School at Indiana University Jessica Gall Myrick surveyed nearly 7,000 people regarding cat video viewing habits, noting their emotions before and after watching. Myrick’s overall conclusion? Watching cat videos gives you energy – among other things.
“For most people, it improved their mood,” Myrick told Indiana Public Media. “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.”
Inspiration for the study struck Myrick, who studies media effects, during a personal viewing of a Lil BUB video.
“It just struck me that we’re spending so much time on this type of media, but no one has studied how does that affect us,” Myrick told Indiana Public Media.
With a little help from Mike Bridavsky, Lil BUB’s human, word about the survey spread like wildfire throughout social media – intriguing and enticing excitement from those who are regular cat video viewers.
“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,” Myrick said in a news release. “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.”
Once a guilty pleasure, now a secret to happiness and positivity – go on, watch a cat video (or ten!).