Watching Cute Cat Videos: Procrastination or Motivation?

When I have a bad day, I typically go on social media to distract myself from whatever is going on, as most people do nowadays. After wandering on the internet for a while, I always stumble upon cute cat videos. I love watching them, and I easily become engrossed and before I know it I’ve missed dinner and the sun has set. Although I’ve completely wasted my time and avoided all my responsibilities, I genuinely feel better than I did before. It turns out I’m not the only one who does this, and in fact, Ed Mazza of Huffington Post posted an article about the correlation between watching cat videos and improvements in mood.

one of my adorable cats (photo taken by me)

one of my adorable cats (photo taken by me)

The article includes some really adorable cat videos, so I suggest you give them a watch! Mazza also mentions that watching cat videos as a form of procrastination can make the viewer feel guilty about not doing what they’re supposed to, however in most cases these videos motivated the viewer and enabled them to get their work done! The article makes reference to this study by Jessica Gall Myrick, which goes into great detail about the kinds of people who watch cat videos and how cat videos have become more popular. The author of the study, Jessica Myrik, believes there can and should be more research about the correlation between watching cat videos and improvements in mood.

Image result for science behind watching cat videos

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Now you may be thinking, why bother researching this correlation? In this article, Jessica Myrick, an assistant professor at Indiana University Media Center and author of the study previously mentioned,  discusses the importance of doing research on internet cat videos. Myrick believes that to better understand the impact the internet has on us a whole, that the effect that internet cat videos have on their viewers must be observed and studied as well. These videos also could become an easy and affordable medium of pet therapy (Myrick).

I personally believe that watching internet cat videos as a form of stress release is a great. It is a harmless use of the internet, and a great release of stress. The study mentioned previously even concludes that these videos promote productivity for the viewer after watching them, and generally improves their mood. I think the possibility of using these videos as a form a pet therapy is wonderful, especially for those who can’t afford a pet or who are allergic. I’m interested to see what future research will conclude about the correlation between watching cat videos and mood improvements, and in the meantime I’ll be watching more cute cat videos on instagram.


3 thoughts on “Watching Cute Cat Videos: Procrastination or Motivation?

  1. Michael A Lupo

    Interesting post. Although I personally am not a cat person, I can see a correlation between animals and an improved mood. I can always count on my dog to improve my mood when times get tough. I don’t know if I agree with the statement that watching cat videos can motivate you to do your work. If anything, I feel that it can distract you, as mentioned in the article, and cause you to disregard whatever you should be doing in order to watch cat videos. The point I do agree with is the fact that these videos can be a great form of stress relief. Whatever it takes to get your mind off a stressful situation is great, and if that’s what cat videos does for you, perfect. I personally enjoy running to take stress out of my life. It always seems to clear my head and relieve me of whatever has been bothering me. When I return from my run, I always feel level headed and refreshed. An article found here goes into further detail about why running can help reduces stress. I’ve always heard that the key to managing stress is finding something that takes your mind off the stress. Whether it be running or watching cat videos, managing stress is key especially in college life.

  2. Rachel Sara Anton

    Hey Chelsea,

    I love this post because it makes me feel less guilty about the fact that I just spent an hour watching cat videos. That also leads me to the question of how much info that you studied before watching cat videos you actually retain after watching the videos. I wonder if it interferes negatively with the learning process even though it improves mood. I am also so interested in the idea of animal therapy through videos, especially for allergic people. I never thought of that, and with our technology these days that would be an awesome idea. Here is a compilation of cat videos coincidentally posted by an account called “Forget Your Sadness.”

  3. Jillian Nicole Beitter

    This is a really great and interesting blog! I love how you brought up the idea of using this as a type of therapy, especially for those allergic (like me!). I wonder if the same results would be found with dog videos as well. I am more of a dog person (no offense to cat people!) and I wonder if watching dog videos has the same effect? I guess I’ll just have to try it out and see!

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